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June 29, 1940

Choice and Change of Doctors: A Study of the Consumer of Medical Services Conducted Under the Auspices of the Committee on Research in Medical Economics

Author Affiliations

By Gladys V. Swackhamer. Paper. Pp. 47. New York: The Committee, 1939.

JAMA. 1940;114(26):2589. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810260075026

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From interviews of 365 households with "a high proportion of foreign born and first generation Americans" living in the slums and crowded tenement districts of the largest city in this hemisphere, it was discovered that the choices of medical service were extremely varied and not usually very wise. While one third, even of these families, tended to have a family doctor, they were frequently led to try other sources of medical care. The medical profession has known these facts for a long time and, as in so many other fields of medical activity for the defects in which the profession is criticized, has been about the only body that has tried to improve this condition. Several county medical societies have set up plans to give systematic guidance in the selection of physicians, and the profession has long been studying means of educating the public in methods of more intelligent choice.

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