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June 14, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XIV(24):869-870. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410240025003

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In some remarks before a State Medical Society recently, a very well known literary man spoke in any thing but flattering terms of the scientific position of medicine. This sentiment is echoed in the public press and in drawing-room conversation. Medicine certainly is at the bar of public opinion. A crowd of ragged, emaciated and ghostly claimants demand the division of the estate, and they are each and all supported by a blatant and venal press and a lobby of ignorance, superstition and sentiment. The dignity and honor of medicine in our country is greatly abridged.

The fact that medicine broke loose from the alchemy and sorcery of the middle ages sufficiently explains the tendency of immature and unbalanced minds to revert to these ancestral types. History and poetry surround such examples of arrested mental development with the glamor of sentiment or the sophistry of antiquity, and the delusions of

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