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May 15, 1972

Free Medical Clinics

JAMA. 1972;220(7):1013. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200070101023

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To the Editor.—  The free medical clinics (219:603, 1972) deserve more support and encouragement from the medical profession, and it would be a great loss if they would not survive.The idealism of the young physicians and students is in the best tradition of medicine and the wild talk and the political stance should not make us uptight and negative in our attitude. Stripped of some of the verbiage, these clinics are no new departure. During the war, when venereal disease was rampant, such clinics operated in many places. They were staffed by volunteer medical men and students and the team included nurses, social workers, epidemiologists, and volunteer workers. They were free clinics, no admission fees were charged during daytime and a nominal sum was charged for night clinics. The organization was rather "peer" to use the fashionable word, though the head nurse tended to boss as all do