In medicine, as in other arts and sciences, the men who did things in the past have frequently failed to write accounts of what they did, or else have assumed that their readers must be familiar with the details and the circumstances, and therefore have omitted to describe the latter. The consequence is that there are many distinct gaps in the history of medicine; but, fortunately, these may sometimes be filled out by the chance references of non-medical writers. Some interesting and important facts may be thus secured.
For instance, we generally take it for granted that the clinical teaching of medicine is a modern institution. Even such men as Lancisi in Rome, who seems to have been the first in modern times to gather students around the bedside of patients for educational purposes, and Boerhaave, who first systematized the method, apparently adopted it only in a limited way. That