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Interdisciplinary conferences are fashionable. The New York Academy of Medicine organized this one, held in 1961. Undoubtedly, the contributors were chosen to present a diversity of viewpoints on a shared theme—the relationship of medicine and anthropoly. As often happens, the diversity was achieved, not only in viewpoint, but in subject matter, so that we have an assortment of essays on various topics, most of them worth reading, but unfortunately not adding up to a truly coherent whole.
The opening paper, designated as theme of the volume, is by Whitehorn. He discusses several theories of man, disease, and therapy, emphasizing the importance of language and the leadership role of the physician. Other authors present interesting descriptions of magic, religion, and medical theory and practice in different primitive groups. A sophisticated modern exposition of the doctrine of the "noble savage" is offered by Diamond, who claims that "our illness springs from the
Meehan MC. Man's Image in Medicine and Anthropology. JAMA. 1963;186(3):275. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710030115032
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