The face of clinical medicine has undergone a profound revolution within the lifetime of all practicing physicians. This revolution has been witnessed in detail by many people still living. Indeed, some have had an active part in giving direction and form to the revolution. The rise of laboratory medicine, the development of metabolism wards, and the building of whole hospitals devoted not to the care and cure of the sick but to an analysis of mechanisms and processes, characterize our time. No one has written a history of the changes as they have occurred. Such information as is available for the most part exists as a documentary or chronicle rather than an analytical history. "Ward 4" does not tell us the history of the rise of clinical research. It does give the narrative of one particular metabolic unit and the people whose activities had this for a home base and
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