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June 16, 1962

Medicine's International Characteristics, Responsibilities, and Opportunities

Author Affiliations


Dr. Blasingame is Executive Vice-President of the American Medical Association.

JAMA. 1962;180(11):932-935. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050240028006

THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, Dr. Arthur Dean Bevan, then chairman of the Council on Medical Education and Hospital of the American Medical Association, pointed out that medicine is one of the great functions of modern civilization. He said:

Medicine is in everyday contact with every individual in every community. Without modern scientific medicine, without modern public health service, our modern civilization would soon cease to exist. Great cities, such as London, New York, Paris and Chicago, would be impossible. They would soon rot away under great plagues as the larger centers of population did in the Middle Ages. Medical education and medical practice are not functions of the university and the medical profession alone; they are functions of modern civilization in which the entire community is vitally interested.

That statement, so true in 1928, has even greater application in the world today. Now, the "entire community" is literally the whole world.

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