September 1971

Consumerism in Medicine

Arch Intern Med. 1971;128(3):469-471. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310210145021

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As part of the revolutionary zeal that has flourished during the past ten years, consumer advocacy has developed as a significant force in the community. Best exemplified by Ralph Nader and his staff of associates and volunteers, the sequence of study, analysis, and demand for change on behalf of the consumers' interest has become known as the process of consumerism. The major element in all of this activity has been the unyielding insistence that the people who are to use the product or who are to be recipients of a service are entitled to an important voice in how that product is produced or how that service is dispensed. As far as the profession of medicine is concerned, consumer participation has existed for many years in the form of boards of advisors or of trustees for community hospitals. But such consumer activity—in light of present day ventures— would be considered

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