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November 1982

Medical Thinking: A Historical Preface

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1982;118(11):958. doi:10.1001/archderm.1982.01650230086041

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This treatise represents both a philosophical and an historical approach to the development of medicine. The author, who is a renowned scholar in the history of medicine, has set out to show the changes that have evolved in medicine and their relationship to the developments around them. Although these concepts appear initially to be a foregone conclusion, they actually disclose a great deal of insight into the changes and advances in the techniques of diagnosis and treatment. To quote the author:

Each era was searching for enlightenment. In the early stages the searchers had, for illumination, only a candle, but gradually the mode of illumination increased massively. What were the investigators able to see in the available light? I suggest that through the centuries the acuity of vision was the same. The difference is laid in the mode of illumination.

The author illustrates his thesis by frequently discussing tuberculosis. This

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