In 1920, C. Morton Smith,1 in a paper read before the American Dermatological Association, made the statement that "It seems probable that secondary and tertiary lesions of syphilis will continue to occur less and less frequently." In the discussion on this paper, various observers agreed with him in this and also in the observation that teaching material was becoming more scanty. The belief seems to have been that acute syphilitic eruptions were gradually diminishing in numbers, and that teaching material would eventually become so scarce as to constitute a serious handicap for future students of medicine.
At that time it was our impression that a similar state of affairs obtained at the Washington University Medical School. We then began gathering the material for this statistical study. It seemed wiser, however, to wait a little longer and to include the years 1921 and 1922 in order to observe postbellum effects,
WEISS RS, CONRAD AH. XXXIX.—THE INCIDENCE OF SYPHILIS AT THE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY DISPENSARY AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO ECONOMIC CONDITIONS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1924;10(4):453–461. doi:10.1001/archderm.1924.02360280047008
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