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July 23, 1892


JAMA. 1892;XIX(4):115-116. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420040027010

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A Classical Quotation Wanted.  —The much abused quotation "who shall decide when the doctors disagree" is floating around again. It circulates far too freely and widely, when we consider that it has fundamentally no relation to the medical profession whatever. The original Latin saying, when first coined and used, we all know, when we reflect upon the subject for a moment, dates from a time when medical men were never called "doctors," and when the only "doctors" were the teachers of the Holy Mother Church, the only doctors then were the gentlemen of the cloth, the clergy. And they were all the time at odds with one another —so we are taught to believe—to such an extent that this adage came into being and has held its place a thousand years, more or less. Only by a strange contretemps it has been shifted off from the clergy, and medicine has

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