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December 19, 1942

THE DOCTOR IN POLITICS

Author Affiliations

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1942;120(16):1336. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830510074023

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  To a second year medical student the comments of Sir Beckwith Whitehouse on the ominous signs appearing in the rising generation of doctors (which you reprinted in the issue of November 7, page 754) were most interesting. Sir Beckwith decried (i) a growing interest in purely materialistic financial success and (ii) a growing interest in assuming active political roles. He disapproved on the grounds that they represented a departure from attention to the doctor's primary avowed concern—the welfare of humanity.These two interests are not the same. It would rather seem that the more the doctor cares about his job and the more thoroughly he thinks it through, the more ardent a politician he must become. Surely it has been through political activity that some of his most cherished ends have been achieved—compulsory vaccination, regulation of water, milk and food, negative serologic reaction of prospective mates, and

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