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April 13, 1963


JAMA. 1963;184(2):163. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700150117034

To the Editor:  —Iatrochemists and iatromechanists were mentioned in the "Medical Greats" section of The Journal (182:adv p 249 [Dec 8] 1962) with special reference to Jan Baptista van Helmont ( 1577-1644) and Giorgio Baglivi (1668-1707) as representative, respectively, of these categories. In seventeenth century medicine, the iatrochemists "pressed chemistry into the service of medicine," as Sigerist put it.1 Their opponents, the iatromechanists, were known also as iatromathematicians and iatrophysicists.I have pointed out in detail elsewhere2 that the mid-twentieth century furnished a peak in the growth of what I have seen as a parallel movement and have proposed to call "iatropsychology." Ackerknecht3 was kind enough to refer to it as an appropriate designation for this development when he mentioned it in his Noguchi Lectures on "Aspects of the History of Therapeutics."Iatropsychology is medicine in which psychological concepts predominate. It finds its special expression now within

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