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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 8, 1999

The Fee of the Doctor.

Author Affiliations

Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 1999;282(22):2102E. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2102

When we are ill the fastest automobile seems to move like a snail in bringing the doctor to us. We are apt to exclaim that we "would give almost anything" for the doctor to come quickly. His coming is a most welcome presence, as he alleviates our own pain, or the ills of those we love; we speak of him in unmeasured tones of gratitude. There seems no man for whom we would do quite so much as we would for him; no one who so thoroughly has our gratitude in his keeping. This is when we are ill, or in the first days of recovery. But some weeks or months after we are well, and when we have almost forgotten how close we were to death's door, and how skillfully the doctor snatched us out of the very jaws of death, the doctor's bill comes along. And somehow our ardor has cooled; we have forgotten the gratitude which swelled within us—and we let the doctor wait.

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