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August 1955


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;96(2):137-141. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250130011001

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OSCILLATION and sudden shifts in the center of gravity of therapeutics have been occurring with increasing frequency during recent years. It is imperative that those responsible for setting standards in medical practice look squarely at the changes. A most impressive advance has been the discovery of many specifics. We have now a number of drugs with great therapeutic power. They may be used for good or ill. A generation of physicians whose orientation fell between therapeutic nihilism and the uncritical employment of ever-changing placebos was ill prepared to handle a baffling array of really powerful compounds. The advent of sulfa drugs; the emergence of effective antibiotics; the transformation of endocrine therapy from a stage only a step in advance of mysticism to one with many hormones available for a great variety of therapeutic manipulations; the isolation of vitamins in bewildering abundance which soon outran the known vitamindeficiency disorders; the development

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