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With much interest, we have read the review by professor Verna on how laboratory medicine has evolved to the clinically indispensable specialisation that it nowadays is.1 In the first part of his paper, he strongly focuses on alchemy, a non-scientific approach to understanding matter, being the precursor of modern chemistry that originated as a scientific discipline in the 17th century. Although Verna indicated that his paper is not meant to be a treatise on the history of medicine, we believe that his focus on alchemy and chemistry does not fully recognise the development of laboratory medicine. His table 1, named ‘The fathers of modern laboratory medicine’, is obviously a personal choice rather than a complete overview of the most important contributors to the history of laboratory medicine, and we do not wish to argue if there are scientists who should have been mentioned in the table or others whose names should …
Handling editor Vikram Deshpande.
Contributors JJMLH performed the literature research and wrote the manuscript. EU initiated the manuscript, contributed content and reviewed all versions.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.