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THE PATIENT HIMSELF

HUGH T. PATRICK, M.D.
JAMA. 1920;74(2):69-73. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620020001001.
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Among the vices of advancing years are carping criticism. garrulity and needless admonition. To all of these I plead guilty and so can only beg your indulgence while I say a few things that I think should be said, knowing that I say them poorly and that I add nothing to our store of knowledge.

My theme is that much neglected individual, the patient himself. Concerning his organs and their functions, we have numberless tomes. Concerning the diseases that attack his parts, we have whole libraries. Concerning the various ways of cutting him open and sewing him up, there are several six-foot shelves. For the manifold instruments, machines and appliances of our armamentarium, an extensive congeries of industries is in constant operation. Indeed, some of us are so used to practicing medicine by machinery that the cortical cell bids fair to shrink into sterile desuetude. But of the patient himself

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