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July 21, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(3):167. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460290037012

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Dr. Gould's article in this issue pleading for the collection and preservation of accurate medical data—a more complete form of vital statistics—is one that will bear consideration on the part of the profession. The tendency of specialism to consider the patient only in connection with his particular disease, and not as a diseased individual, is, to a certain extent, not a factor for progress; there is, as he suggests, a danger of our losing the co-ordinating sense and oversight of the organism as a whole. The old-fashioned country practitioner, if adapted to his work, was, and still is, within his limits, a nearer approach to the ideal, as Oliver Wendell Holmes in one of his books has so happily described. He works largely by rule of thumb; the instruments of precision in diagnosis may be to a great extent ignored, but he learns to know his patients, their condition, their

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