Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"A desire to take medicine is, perhaps, the great feature which distinguishes man from other animals. Why this appetite should have developed, how it could have grown to its present dimensions, what it will ultimately reach, are interesting problems in psychology. Of one thing I must complain, - that when we of the profession have gradually emancipated ourselves from a routine administration of the nauseous mixtures on every possible occasion, and when we are able to say, without fear of dismissal, that a little more exercise, a little less food, and a little less tobacco and alcohol, may possibly meet the indications of the case - I say it is a just cause of complaint that when we, the priests, have left off the worship of Baal, and have deserted the groves and high places, and have sworn allegiance to the true god of science, that you, the people, should wander off after all manner of idols, and delight more and more in patent medicines and be more than ever at the hands of advertising quacks. But for a time it must be so. This is yet the childhood of the world, and a supine credulity is still the most charming characteristic of man." (William Osler, MD: 'Recent Advances in Medicine,' Science, 27 March 1891)

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