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May 1965

Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society.

Author Affiliations

By John W. Gardner. Price, $3.50. Pp 127. Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 49 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016, 1963.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(5):614. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03860170096022

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In this book the author is for self-development, flexibility, individuality, commitment, courage, and love. He is against tyranny, vested interests, deadwood, inflexibility, moral decay, morbid pessimism—and sin. Moreover, the book deals with some rather general ideas, concepts and abstractions such as "society," "self-knowledge," and "creativity" which are almost innately soporific. In short, it should be pretty dull reading—but it is not. Rather, this very short book is thought-provoking, often very amusing, and continuously interesting.

It is reviewed in these pages because so much of what is said has relevance to what is perhaps the most important determinant of the quality of medical care—the continuing self-renewal of the physician. Parts of this long essay deal with the factors which further or impede innovation in society and these comments have application to the problems of adapting our systems of medical education and medical care to fit the changing society they serve. Of

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