Increase in the Rate of Progress.
As America entered the twentieth century, the rate of progress seemed to increase exponentially, especially in the medical field. On 15 May 1930 Rufus Cole, physician and director of the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, addressed the Academy of Medicine in New York City on the progress of medicine during the past twenty-five years. He said that the concept of progress was relatively new. It dated from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment when new discoveries in natural science amplified knowledge of the environment and man became more hopeful of the future. "Today we have to ask our-selves," he said, "not whether medicine has progressed but at what rate progress has occurred/'
Change from the Art of the Physician to the Science of Medicine.
The medical progress that was so apparent to Cole as the decade of the 1920s came to an end was largely a result of the change in emphasis from the art of the physician to the science of medicine. In 1900 the average doctor had few effective drugs and little laboratory equipment beyond the microscope. His role was that of sage and comforter, and with his relatively superior education and genuine concern for the patient, he often could offer commonsense solutions to practical problems. The physician ministered at the patient's bedside much as...
(The entire section is 1720 words.)
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