April 17, 1967

Soviet Socialized Medicine: An Introduction

Author Affiliations

North Andover, Mass


by Mark G. Field, 231 pp, $6.95, New York: The Free Press, Division of the Macmillan Co., 1967.

JAMA. 1967;200(3):264. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120160130039

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Designed primarily for laymen, this introduction to the Soviet health services serves as the to a comprehensive work intended for scholars in the field of medical organization and administration. The author is a sociologist who has impressive knowledge of the historical background of Soviet sociology, especially as it pertains to the Soviet health service. His dispassionate objectivity provides a refreshing contrast to the obvious overtones of some who discussed the system in relationship to recent socioeconomic changes in American medicine.

For the American physician concerned with the future of American medicine, it provides a brief history, description, and review of a system entirely different from his own. The system is not judged as good or bad but only as reasonably effective in fulfilling the mission assigned to medicine in Soviet ideology and planning. The author broadly outlines the rationale of its possibly greater appeal than the American system to underdeveloped