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June 2, 1900


Author Affiliations

Professor of the Surgery of the Genito-Urinary Organs and Syphilology, in the Medical Department of the State University of Illinois. CHICAGO.

JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(22):1400-1404. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610220030001g

READY-MADE DOCTORS AND PROPRIETARY MEDICINE FAKES.  The prosperity of the medical profession is being slowly, but surely, sapped by the manufacturers of quasi-patent medicines and secret preparations. The patent medicine fiend has appeared in a new guise. He now masquerades as a corporation for the manufacture of specifics and panaceas for the relief of ills that must have forever remained uncured were it not for his tender ministrations—his occult knowledge of chemistry, and superior pharmaceutic skill. The good old road to fortune via the patent medicine route is largely obstructed by others playing the game. The fakir, nothing daunted, has secured as cat's paws to pull his chestnuts out of the fire, reputable though foolish physicians. There is a peculiar trend in human nature in the direction of "cure-alls"—remedies that fit all diseases, work speedy cures and afford a royal road to recovery. This same peculiar mental bias exists in

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