0
ARTICLE |

SERENDIPITY—BIG WORD IN MEDICAL PROGRESS:  DOES "PURE LUCK" DESERVE ALL THE CREDIT?

Milton Golin
JAMA. 1957;165(16):2084-2087. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.72980340011013.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

ABSTRACT

How some safety engineers click their tongues over that creature they call "accident prone." He is forever, it seems, crashing into automobiles, fouling up machinery, falling off ladders. But there is another kind of accident-prone individual who is dearly in demand today. He is the one who manages to make some valuable or pleasant discovery without deliberately looking for it. This ability is called serendipity, and it is broadening its smile of surprise throughout the fabric of medical progress.

Last October, for example, headlines announced that after a 25-year search, scientists at last had found a vaccine to prevent many cases of the common cold. But was the discovery leader, 34-year-old ecologist Winston H. Price of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, looking for a cold preventive? He was not. Said Dr. Price: "We isolated the cold virus purely by luck. We weren't searching for it. It

Topics

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
/>
First page PDF preview

Figures

Tables

References

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();