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February 1952

SYPHILIS: A Review of the Recent Literature

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1952;89(2):309-352. doi:10.1001/archinte.1952.00240020141011

IF THE theme of this sixteenth annual review of syphilis, covering the period July 1, 1950, to July 1, 1951, could be summed up by a single statement, it might read, "The syphilologist may be dying, but syphilis is not."1 The passing of the diagnosis and management of syphilis from the hands of a few, usually dermatologists, to physicians in general is more apparent now than it has been in the past. Of course, this trend has not happened overnight, since evidence of loss of interest in syphilis by dermatologists was noted early in the penicillin era.2

The return of syphilis diagnosis and treatment to the masses of physicians carries with it an obligation of which the practitioner may well be cognizant.3 His attitude cannot be that expressed by a physician in a recent cartoon in Modern Medicine: "I am going to give you penicillin for five