February 28, 1972

Medical Care: Accessibility and Adequacy

JAMA. 1972;219(9):1208. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190350044015

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Almost daily someone writes about deficiences or total lack of medical care for the disadvantaged, usually meaning those people who do not have ready access to a personal physician or a physician group. Of course, the majority but not all of the medically disadvantaged are also in need financially; some people who can afford good medical care also fail to get it.

Still, access, even for physicians, can be slow. Suppose you are a physician in an urban center. You have been under the care of a physician in private practice—somewhat irregularly because your physician, unlike your dentist, doesn't call you periodically for a checkup, and you don't like to impose. He announces his retirement and recommends that his colleague, Dr. Gallubic, take over the management of your seemingly mild chronic illness. So you write a letter to Dr. G, thanking him for his courtesy, and announcing your willingness to