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Editorial
September 1920

TEACHING THE UNKNOWN

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1920;2(3):370-371. doi:10.1001/archderm.1920.02350090099015

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Abstract

I once heard a philosopher say that "much time is wasted in learning what is not so." It has often occurred to me that this trite homily applies with special force to the teaching of dermatology. Who that has taught dermatology for many years but can recall many precious hours wasted in teaching what is unknown? This carries with it a double loss, for in addition to the loss of time to the teacher, the student is supposed to memorize much that is only of doubtful value, and dogmatic assertions concerning the unknown tend to unfit him for helpful individual inquiry.

The lack of exact knowledge of disease of the skin by the average family doctor is almost appalling. In speaking of this to a graduate of one of the foremost universities of this country, whose teacher was one of the Nestors of American dermatology, he openly admitted that while

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