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February 1969

Clinical Science

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(2):203-204. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300120091016

During work of the biochemist and molecular biologist has been so productive of new information, the practicing physician has had to wonder about the "softness" of his science of clinical medicine. The basic scientists have enjoyed justifiable eminence; they have been uncovering new knowledge, and they have been structuring a veritable encyclopedia of information which has sequential consistency and which promises even a greater number of new learning opportunities. And they have done it well because they have followed the demanding precepts of good science: model building, hypothesis proposal, controlled testing of dependent variables, and follow-up confirmation by the criterion of refutability.1

The clinician, by contrast, has had fewer moments of discovery, though the major sweep of the post-World War II scientific development has been to promote the application of the techniques of the chemist and physicist in the laboratories of the clinical investigator. The appreciation of the details

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