Intended for healthcare professionals


Give a remedy a thorough trial

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 24 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1121
  1. J H Baron, honorary professorial lecturer
  1. New York

    I dislike much the habit that many young practitioners form, namely, that of vaunting some one article of medicine as a specific for a certain disease. Specifics, we have none, and it but brings the profession into disrepute when some foolish ecstatic throws chaff (when we expect sound wheat) which, as it flies, is caught up and devoutly hugged by a certain class who try the remedy because it is new, and has been lauded by its crack-brained originator, but to fail miserably and lose the confidence of their patients, which in truth their ability never entitled them to. The poor patient who falls into their unmerciful hands, has been endowed by nature with a Herculean frame, and despite the rigor of the disease and the poisonous efforts of the so-called specific, he struggles through, a miserable wreck, escaping with barely life, while our scarce fledged doctor seizes his goose-quill and flings to the world through the pages of some medical journal, his new found specific for a disease which nature conquered in spite of the stumbling blocks he placed in her way. Give a remedy a thorough trial before you speak of it as being adapted for the cure of a disease.

    Ussher BB. The Chicago Medical Times1869;1:116.

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