Dear Dr. Christakis,

I enjoyed the bit in the Reader about prognosis [February 25]. I first started reading that paper when I was at medical school at the U. of C. and its most popular teacher was Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. It seems fitting that the university that ran her out on a rail should now support you. Concerning your book mentioned in the article, Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care: it’s hardly the first on the topic of prognosis. How about the Smith Surgical Papyrus, originally written 5,000 years ago and first translated into English at the U. of C.?

Or Hippocrates?

Or Galen?

Prognostics was in fact the ancient art, timely revived.

Richard Nelson

U. of C. class of 1972