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To the Editor:—
The editorial "Person to Person" in the Jan. 16 issue of The Journal prompts this letter. World War II and the simultaneous acceleration of laboratory discoveries in medicine marked a turning point in the character of medical society meetings in America. Before then, the theses presented were freely discussed by the audiences. There was a spirit, if not of equality between the speaker and audience, at least of the opportunity for equality. Since then, authoritarianism has been in the ascendant. The speaker is a teacher. Instead of the opportunity to discuss, the audience is given the opportunity to ask questions. Audience and speaker alike accept the difference in caste.Although this change has not reached completion in all medical society meetings, the leaven is working in most. If the committees include papers other than medical college teachers' theses on the programs, it is often because the authors
Moser GP. MEDICAL SOCIETY MEETINGS. JAMA. 1960;173(1):86. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020190088026