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August 1961

The Purpose and Practice of Medicine

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(2):318-319. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620080150017

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Eight years ago I saw Sir James Spence's charming paper, The Methodology of Clinical Science, which, despite its rather formidable and harsh title, was a scholarly critique of the problems of clinical investigation, clinical research, teaching, practice, and administration in the hospital and university setting. Although his background was that of a pediatrician, one of the first specializing in this field in Great Britain, his message was applicable to any branch of clinical medicine and had important implications for the basic sciences as well. As the first whole-time professor of child health in Great Britain, his influence was spread widely throughout the English-speaking world, the United States and the British Commonwealth as well as the British Isles. Though he had an inquisitive and critical mind, there was none of the cold reserve which made Sir Thomas Lewis so aloof and which may explain his wish to separate the function of

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