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June 23, 1900


Author Affiliations

Profesor of the Principles of Surgery and of Clinical Surgery, Jefferson Medical College. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(25):1592-1594. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610250004002

When casting about for a suitable topic on which to address you, I was much perplexed at first, but finally bethought me that perhaps I could not do you a better service than to sketch in very brief outlines the characteristics of the ideal physician. Let me address you therefore as aspirants for the realization of this ideal.

Few of us, perhaps, at the close of life, can say that we have realized our ideals. But unless we have a high ideal, the trajectory of our life will never have risen to any noble height. "Hitch your wagon to a star," said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Even though you fail you will more nearly reach the firmament than if you had never made the attempt.

The physician may be regarded from three points of view: 1, his personal life; 2, his professional life, and, 3, his public life.

Personal Life.  —The

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