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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 22/29, 2004

PHYSICIANS AND RECIPROCITY.

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(24):3086. doi:10.1001/jama.292.24.3086-a

The physician, because of the nature of the work required of him, may usually be expected to have his wits about him. We have read of the physician who, receiving a large plumber’s bill and being scandalized by some of the time-consuming methods of that tradesman, paid the bill and bided his time. Being the family physician of the plumber, he was called one day and went without medicine case or instruments. On finding what was the matter, he went home for his case, and included in his bill a liberal charge for this procedure. The plumber remonstrated, but when it was explained to him that the physician did not know what tools he wanted until he saw that patient, the plumber grasped the situation and paid the bill. From across the water comes the news of another bright physician, one able to appreciate the possibilities of reciprocity when the circumstances made it necessary. A physician received a box of cigars by mail with a bill therefor and with a letter, stating that, although the physician had not ordered the cigars, yet the maker took the liberty of sending them, convinced that he would find them excellent. The cigars were good and the physician smoked them. When the box was empty he sent the maker several prescriptions, accompanied by a bill for the same, which amounted to the same as the bill for the cigars, and accompanied by a letter stating that, although the cigarmaker had not asked for medical advice from him, yet he took the liberty of sending him some prescriptions, convinced that he would find them excellent.

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