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Article
November 24, 1923

THE FUNCTION AND PROPER FIELD OF ACTIVITY OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICERAS COMPARED WITH THE PRIVATE PRACTITIONER

JAMA. 1923;81(21):1735-1738. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650210001001

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Abstract

In promoting the betterment of public health, the private practitioner and the public health official must cooperate to bring about the desired results. While special functions and fields of activities of health officers and private practitioners may differ, their objects and aims are the same—to promote positive health for all members of society and to relieve the more unfortunate persons of disease and suffering.

At the outset, it may be stated that there is one general function and one field of activity in which both health officers and private practitioners must join, and that is the function and field of active (not passive) cooperation. As in all other forms of human activity, cooperation between medical practitioners and health officials means operation together for a common object, or joint action, aid and help. It has been said that cooperation has a moral basis. If a health officer always thinks in terms

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