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Past, Present, and Future |

Some Things Have Not Changed

Linda Hawes Clever, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From California Pacific Medical Center and University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Acknowledgments: The author thanks Drs. James and Sarah Clever, John W. Gardner, Lloyd Kitchens, Lloyd H. Smith Jr., and Margaret Kaufman for thoughtful reviews and suggestions.

Requests for Reprints: Linda Hawes Clever, MD, California Pacific Medical Center, S513F Box 7999, San Francisco, CA 94120. For reprint orders in quantities exceeding 100, please contact please contact the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(1):85-89. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-1-200001040-00014
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A plane tree, said to be a cutting from Hippocrates' own, grows on the grounds of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. This link to the past beckons us to reflect on our profession and on Hippocrates' observation, “Life is short, the Art is long; the occasion fleeting; experience fallacious, and judgement difficult …” (1). As we walk under Hippocrates' tree or talk with our colleagues, we can reflect on millennia past and future. We can examine the fundamentals in medicine that have not changed and should not change despite turmoil. We can also acknowledge aspects of our profession that should change despite tradition.

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