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Recently the headquarters of the American Medical Association received letters from physicians in Macomb, Ill., Charleston, Ill., Wayne, Mich., Fond du Lac, Wis., Little Falls, N. Y., and other cities, complaining about erroneous news stories concerning the shortages of physicians which had appeared in their local newspapers. Because of the presentation of the stories, readers believed they had originated at the American Medical Association headquarters, which they did not. The confusion was caused by an ambitious program by the Park Row News Service, a small New York news agency. From the American Medical Directory it counted the number of physicians in certain communities and wrote a localized news story, which was sent to newspapers in many of the smaller communities. If the paper printed the story, the agency was paid; if not, payment was not made.
In making the count of physicians the agency failed to take into consideration the
FALSE REPORTING OF PHYSICIAN SHORTAGES. JAMA. 1950;144(10):848. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920100036012