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Article
November 24, 1900

A PLEA FOR GREATER SIMPLICITY IN THERAPEUTICS.

Author Affiliations

Attending Physician, Colored Hospital; Assistant Physician, French Hospital; Secretary New York Academy of Medicine, etc. NEW YORK CITY.

JAMA. 1900;XXXV(21):1332-1333. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24620470022001f
Abstract

The tendency in development of the physical world is toward complexity. Evolution pictures animal life progressing from the simplest atom to the most complex animal. In the world of science, on the other hand, the greatest steps have been always toward simplicity. The greatest attainments of the intellect have been the discovery of the principles and laws governing complex nature. So, while the accumulation of knowledge is constantly going forward, we find science, which is an application of mind to matter, always simplifying.

In scientific therapeutics the same process is seen. The accumulation of observations has been great. They must be simplified and brought under straightforward laws and applications. The first step must be the selection of a few drugs that represent the activities of their class. The advantage of such classification to the physician will be that the great amount of labor in the attempt to master an elaborate

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