Spring 2015

The Nothing-New Department

An excerpt from a 1924 valedictory address

“This is an age of science. With the multiplicity of new methods of diagnosis and treatment that are constantly being presented in the field of medicine, there is a decided tendency toward specialization, which may lead to certain evils. In employing laboratory methods of diagnosis, so much attention is given to the results obtained by instruments of precision that the patient is ignored.

“Here is where the old-time general practitioner excelled. He knew his patients intimately—he lived in their community—he realized their problems—he understood them—he took care of them. He did not depend upon involved laboratory tests or complicated instruments to make clear the diagnostic signs and symptoms. He was trained to observe the patient, to detect the conditions incident to the disease with his five unaided senses. He saw the case as a patient—and that is the attitude that should be restored today.”

David Thayer Gallison made these remarks at Tufts Medical School on June 16, 1924.


Top Stories

On Fighting Ebola

Alumna Nahid Bhadelia takes a big-picture approach to stemming the spread of disease

Son of Confucius

This junior faculty member in neuroscience is a proud descendant of the ancient Chinese sage

The Awkward Fit

Geographically, culturally and politically, Maine lobstermen have some distance to go if they are ever going to connect with better health care

The Mercy Ship

Born from a wish to improve the lives of Boston’s poor, sickly children by exposing them to fresh air, the original Floating Hospital quickly created new and better forms of pediatric medicine

Heads Together

Veterinarians and physicians confer to help deliver a knockout blow to the cancers their patients share

Editor's Picks

Dockside Medicine

Born into a lobstering family, I worry about their well-being in a special way 

Less Salt, Live Longer

Study finds too much sodium a worldwide killer

Nanoscale Cancer

Igor Sokolov’s research could yield better ways to identify and track malignant cells early on

On Designer Babies

Genetic enhancement of human embryos is not a practice for civil societies

Our Ailing Patient

U.S. medicine is not delivering the value it should, says Rishi Manchanda, who offers a prescription for the future

Spin Doctors

Hospital websites give unbalanced medical information, according to a systematic survey of 262 institutions