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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


LAVAL MANRIQUE, Enrique. On the meaning and usefulness of History of Medicine (1895-1970). Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.4, pp.379-382. ISSN 0716-1018.

The knowledge of the history of Medicine does not seem to add “utility” to the activities of a physician. Nevertheless, for a doctor eager to get good intellectual information –or the spiritual perfection called “culture”– the autor gives some reasons on why being acquainted with the history of medicine has some “utility” through the following items:

Intellectual dignity:

by deliberately and gratefully assuming the best of those who introduced technical devices or methods, as auscultation, or intellectual elaborations, like the etiologic model of Galen.

Moral clarity:

to perform as if they were his own, great deeds of the personages whose discoveries built the concepts and procedures used nowadays.

Intellectual clarity:

assuming the reason for being and the sense of what is being done.

Intellectual liberty:

knowing history in a comprehensive way, frees a doctor from the temptation of considering scientific notions as unmistakably true and definite.

A possible option to originality:

stimulated by a will of emulation, to search for less insecure or more rewarding knowledge, tending to “complete” what is at present accepted.

Palabras clave : History medicine; utility; physician; culture.

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