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Withering and the Quarterly Journal of Negative Results

Richard J. Bing, M.D.
Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(2):143-144. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620260003001.
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The current trend by some of us to stress the scientific side of medicine to the exclusion of everything else has prompted the following editorial, which does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors of this journal. It is written by a man who envies both the true scientist and the good clinician, but who would have their personalities and ambitions wedded into one unit. The wondrous physician who emerges from this union would have his research sponsored by the granting agencies, and would be beloved by his patients, a fortunate combination indeed.

On a recent trip to Shropshire, England, I discovered some documents, which are worth discussing. Since they concern Dr. Withering, the discoverer of the therapeutic effects of digitalis, I thought them of sufficient interest to publish them. Although they were written in the 18th century, they appear so modern that they could have been written today.


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