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December 5, 1966

To Teach Them This Art

JAMA. 1966;198(10):1089-1090. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110230105022

If Hippocrates could return today from Olympus and visit any one of the 88 accredited medical schools, he would, more likely than not, express enthusiastic approval of the curricula and general scientific attainment. His reaction to the state of the art, on the other hand, might be less than enthusiastic, and it may be logically supposed that his disappointment would be profound.

In this era of diagnosis by computer, automated hospitals, closed-circuit television, and chemotherapeutic miracles, the failure and possible obliteration of the art of medicine are the prices being exacted in the purchase of scientific advancement. Nobody wants to return to the horse and buggy doctor or to the ridiculous caricature of the bearded saint by the child's bedside, but he had his good points. In the 19th century, Pasteur admonished us "to cure some, to relieve many, and to comfort all." The character and organization of medical services