Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sacks says to learn from older works, too

At UCLA, we residents had a weekly "Journal Club"; we would read the latest papers in neurology and discuss them. I sometimes annoyed the group, I think, by saying that we should also discuss the writings of our nineteenth-century forebears, relating what we were seeing in patients to their observations and thoughts. This was seen by the others as archaism; we were short of time, and we had better things to do than consider such "obsolete" matters. This attitude was reflected, implicitly, in many of the journal articles we read; they made little reference to anything more than five years old. It was as if neurology had no history.
Oliver Sacks, On the Move: A Life (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015)

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