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In 2021 we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest neuroanatomists, Thomas Willis, the founder of clinical neurology. Willis' name is usually associated with 'the circle' and the word 'neurologia', but his work which comprised insightful descriptions of clinical cases and clear, well-illustrated and articulated scientific publications and case histories also formed the foundation of modern translational research and clinical medicine. In the 16th and 17th centuries classical medical training was based on academic, scholastic tradition, not empirical observations. Willis' work highlights the importance of first-hand clinical observations, and the personalized care of patients and their families. It also emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary working and the significance of different viewpoints.

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