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June 15, 1940

BETTER HEALTH FOR AMERICAPRESIDENT'S ADDRESS

JAMA. 1940;114(24):2347-2350. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810240001001
Abstract

Better health for America is the objective of the organized medical profession, which I have this year the honor to represent. Organized medicine is devoted to the public service and always has been in America since the first hospital was organized 188 years ago in Philadelphia for medical service to the sick poor. Today 116,500 of the physicians of the United States provide service to people of all social economic levels. These servants of the sick are on call twenty-four hours of every day.

Although the census taker insisted on recording me as working forty hours a week, there have been few days in the last fifty years in which I have not spent more than twelve hours in the service of people who asked for it. Beginning as a general practitioner with surgical training and a generous exposure to medical education, here and abroad—a fortuitous circumstance through the medium

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