May 1970

On the Need for National Leadership

Arch Intern Med. 1970;125(5):892-894. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310050130018

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Last year, like a boxer who has just been caught by a fast right hook to the side of the jaw, medicine was reeling and slightly bleary-eyed from the unseemly uproar in the press and television that accompanied President Nixon's rejection of John Knowles, MD, as his Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs. The legs looked wobbly, the hands were dropped low, and there were cries of "foul" and howls of dismay at one more display of an inept public performance. And when a boxer looks like he might go down, an aggressive adversary will then quickly follow with a flurry of sharp and rapidly dispatched blows. So it has seemed during the past several months.

Medicine surely is being pursued by such an opponent. How else could one explain the following series of events: Mr. Finch decrying an undue emphasis upon medical research and research training, and his disparaging characterization

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