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One can conceive of a most frightful torture which an all-powerful villain might contrive, a literary analogue of the Chinese water torture, of being forced to read word by word the New York City phone book or some volume like the American Medical Directory. Aside from the automatic soothing of the vanity which consists of looking up our own name and seeing how well it appears in print, a book like the American Medical Directory serves an invaluable purpose, helping us keep track of friends, correspondents, former students and colleagues, and anyone else who may have an M.D. degree in the United States. The amount of work required to keep such a volume up to date is incalculable. The yield is important and I think as accurate as any human endeavor is likely to be. For reasons that are not known to me, the current, 21st edition, recently off the
Bean WB. The American Medical Directory. Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(6):969. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620120153034
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