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July 30, 1960


Author Affiliations

1292 Liberty St. Beaumont, Texas.

JAMA. 1960;173(13):1508. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020310096033

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To the Editor:—  The comments on AMEF and other subjects by Dr. Sedgwick Mead, in The Journal, April 23, page 1972, were read with interest. The necessity for maintaining our present physician/population ratio is seriously open to question. The acceptance of arbitrary figures, dredged up from whence no-one knows, is unwise. For some time I have believed that our present physician/population ratio is unnecessarily high. In 14 years of practice I have encountered nowhere a genuine shortage of physicians. There is an uneven distribution, but I believe the problem is generally one of too many generals and not enough soldiers, i. e., too many who specialize and not enough who do general work. Grinding out more and more men who do less and less in order to satisfy theoretical standards is absurd and economically most unwise. Actual need is not to be confused with desire to fulfill certain abstract or

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