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March 21, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(12):948-950. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720380036014

Many factors have exerted an influence in bringing about a change in the practice of medicine. Improved modes of transportation, professional specialization, increase in hospital facilities and codification of ethical standards have contributed to this change in no small measure. However, supporting the efforts of every physician in this country, and used by him either consciously or less directly, are the vast facilities in medical research and statistical information provided by the United States Public Health Service, an institution of such manifold activities and achievements that it is difficult to evaluate its influence on present-day medicine. As is true of most government bureaus, there has been a steady expansion in its activities from a modest beginning until, at the present time, according to a recent issue of Public Health Reports,1 the service employs more than 5,000 persons with an annual budget of $11,000,000.

In 1798 Congress established the Marine

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