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July 1925


Am J Dis Child. 1925;30(1):1-9. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1925.01920130007001

The best sailors are those who have studied the charts and records of those who have sailed before; the best practitioners are those who have read widely. Osler used to say that to study the phenomena of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to read books without seeing patients is not to go to sea at all. Those accustomed to read only the newest publications often lack the healthy skepticism which comes from a familiarity with the older writers. To follow the ups and down in medicine is a fascinating occupation. An idea is born, lives a little while, enters a dormant period, to come to life again—often centuries later. The ignorant believe it is a new thought, but the well read know how many times before the same figment of the imagination has been exploited.

The history of pediatrics is like the history of medicine,