Symphonic praiseBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7572.813-a (Published 12 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:813
- George Dunea, attending physician
- Cook County Hospital, Chicago, USA
Why should any modern doctor still want to read Sir Thomas Browne? He has been dead for over 300 years. He made no medical discoveries. He practised no evidence based medicine, and actually believed in witches, a species now uncommon except in certain households.
His precept (in the book Christian Morals) not to look for whales in the Black Sea—because there are none—could be taken as a warning against making fanciful rare diagnoses because common diseases occur …