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April 19, 1913

The Indian Medical Service

JAMA. 1913;60(16):1244. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340160046027

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To the Editor::  —In your editorial "Health of the American Indian" (March 15, 1913, p. 832), you state that "the Indian medical service... is totally unable in its present status to cope with existing conditions successfully." It may interest you to know what is the present status of the individual physician.He is directly subject to the superintendent, a layman who may or may not agree with his recommendations concerning sanitary measures. It is the superintendant who renders the department a report on the physician's "efficiency."The physician in the Indian service is a "health officer" who in most instances is not furnished with a microscope, stains, etc., unless he wishes to purchase them out of his meager salary.He must be careful not to request any favored employees to do anything that is distasteful to them.Maybe he did not come from the "best class of candidates;" but let

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