n South African Medical Journal - Masterly inactivity : a forgotten precept : correspondence

Volume 105, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



To the Editor: When I was a medical student at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in the mid-1950s a wise old professor introduced me to the treatment concept of masterly inactivity. Sometimes just waiting and seemingly doing nothing is the favoured therapeutic modality. Over a lifetime in medicine, I have seen many occasions when this approach was successful, and other times when physicians, including myself, have broken this rule with unfortunate and anti-therapeutic results.

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