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March 1964

The Incurable Physician: An Autobiography of Dr. Walter C. Alvarez.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(3):462-463. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280090148029

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This book by Alvarez, who is nearing 80, is an account of a life rich with the quality of a man who has a tremendous wellspring of strength and perceptiveness.

Alvarez tells of his early days in Hawaii and Mexico and his practice in San Francisco through his 25 years at the Mayo Clinic and his retirement. In his retirement—beginning 14 years ago—when many other men begin to vegetate, Alvarez continued to bloom. While there are those who bemoan his role as family doctor to millions which his newspaper columns represent, or his emphasis on little strokes, there is nonetheless the overwhelming recognition that in his newspaper columns he made people more informed, and made the profession more aware of little strokes which nibble away at life without the diagnostic guide that hemiplegia offers in the recognition of frank stroke. In a sense, writing simple English and thus stripping mystery

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