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February 1992

The Decline of the History of Surgery-Reply

Author Affiliations

Marlboro, NJ

Arch Surg. 1992;127(2):239. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1992.01420020133021

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In Reply—Dr Weil's erudite letter demonstrates a clear understanding of the intellectual causes and ultimate consequences of a surgeon's lack of interest in the history of his or her profession. Although it was never my intent to expound on the root causes of what many regard as an "antihistorical and anti-intellectual" attitude in surgery, Dr Weil has adequately summed some of my beliefs. I surmise from his comments that we both believe a deficiency of humanism in medicine to be among the overriding reasons why society looks ever askance at the physician. In turn, the physician's inability to appreciate his or her avocation in the context of a constantly changing society leads to increasing professional frustations. In the final analysis, we must be always diligent in searching for our glorious past because only this will allow medicine to continue as the most scientific of the humanities and remain the

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