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June 30, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(26):2003. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510530023009

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During the late earthquake troubles in San Francisco the physicians of that city, hard-hit as they were by the catastrophe, were called on as a class more than any other citizens to use their special knowledge and skill in the emergency conditions that resulted. It seems that while others who rendered special services, militiamen, mechanics, plumbers, nurses, etc., received pay for their services—and no one grudges it—there is no provision whatever for any recompense to the physicians. Their services were appreciated as inestimable during the calamity. But the adjective applies also to their compensation and, therefore, the problem is dropped as unsolvable. The general relief committees seem to have no means to pay for their services or are so tied up by legal restrictions that they could not do it even if they had the means. The justice of this is sufficiently obvious, but it is the way things go.

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