We conceive that the ideal position of a pathologist is that in which his laboratory stands in direct communication with the wards of an institution—whether hospital or asylum—rendering intercourse with those engaged in clinical research easy, whilst he himself is absolutely free to prosecute his special studies. To expect the laboratory worker to undertake clinical, a fortiori, administrative duties appears unphilosophical, an incongruity, an indication of imperfect appreciation of the value of time and specialised energy. Those who have experience of the exacting nature of research work will, we believe, at once concede that nothing can be more irritating nor more detrimental to good work than to have to relinquish temporarily some absorbing laboratory pursuit in order to engage in the work of the office or the wards. In medical circles in this country we are unfortunately only too familiar with this mélange of occupations, this professional polymorphism, in consequence of which our leading men are compelled to appear in various characters during the course of a day, exchanging frock-coat for laboratory blouse, and this again for lecturer's gown, throughout manifesting an adaptability truly astonishing. But such versatility, admirable in itself, is necessarily inconsistent with steady progress in special directions. It is therefore no wonder that in research work there is danger of lagging behind our continental confrères, labouring consistently in special departments of science, and less concerned with the commercial potentialities of professional life, as we know it.
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