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December 1968

Reading is Good Medicine

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Neurology, Cincinnati General Hospital, Cincinnati.

Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(6):537-538. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00300100071017

There is an essential unity in literature and science. That these related activities of human thought can be used communicatively or investigatively1 are reasons enough to read. It is a vain pretension for a physician to fall into ignorance of all else if he is to look at his problems fully and intelligently and zestfully. It is a curious weakness of the average scientific society that it reflects the attitude of men who would make their preoccupation with their specialty the sole measure of their social outlook.

The literate physician tends to view his work under the aspect of eternity. Therefore he is not as dependent on externals as he is upon himself as the therapeutic instrument. Because he is well read, he learns for himself that there is little new under the sun. His reach widens so he is able to participate empathically in the many experiences of

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