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March 1974

The Armstrong Lecture: Physicians, Patients, and Decisions

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(3):328-332. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110220026002

One of the rewards for being selected for the George Armstrong lectureship is that you find yourself compelled to rush to the rare book room of a nearby library to read about George Armstrong. Until now I had only heard of him. It was great fun to make his acquaintance more directly when I found a charming leather-bound copy of the second edition of his work, On the Diseases Most Incident to Children, published in 1772. For those of you who do not know, I will just mention briefly that George Armstrong opened the first pediatric outpatient department (OPD) in London in the 18th century. Like all OPD directors he worked very hard, was insufficiently appreciated, and had insufficient funds. His ultimate fate, fortunately not shared by many of his successors, was to land in jail for his debts. Some of his ideas were not only very advanced for his

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