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March 9, 1963

County Medical Society Helps Sponsor Chaplaincy Service

JAMA. 1963;183(10):890. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63700100038023

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MANY COMMUNITY HOSPITALS would like a full-time chaplain but believe that the expense is beyond their budget. This article reports how the physicians, hospital administrator, and ministers of one community provided such service.

Wilkes General is a city-owned, 100-bed hospital in North Wilkesboro, N.C., a town of 5,000. The administrator, county medical society, and local ministers held a joint meeting. An outside speaker led a discussion on the doctor-minister relationship. Several physicians said that they saw many patients with illnesses complicated by family problems but who were not sufficiently emotionally disturbed to require referral to a medical center. Likewise, several ministers stated that they encountered individuals whose needs for counseling were too time-consuming or who required more intensive help than they could give. The hospital administrator mentioned the overly zealous religious workers who went from room to room disturbing patients and stated that he desired a trained chaplain whose

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