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April 1, 1933

THE FACTS ABOUT A REPRESENTATIVE SOUTHERN COUNTY

Author Affiliations

Vicksburg, Miss.

JAMA. 1933;100(13):1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740130060032

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Abstract

To the Editor:  —Many years ago I heard a rather intelligent chap say that there are three degrees of untruths: lies, damned lies and statistics. This remark has been recalled a number of times lately, when reading matter relating to the Report of the Committee on the Costs of Medical Care, and expresses excellently my opinion of the whole proceedings.It is extremely easy to collect a set of figures that can be interpreted in any way that any one of a dozen people wish to do. The committee (save the mark) has turned out a striking example.An interesting illustration has just reached me: Surveys of the Medical Facilities in Three Representative Southern Counties, one being Lee County, Mississippi. This "representative" county, according to the information given in the survey, is "comparatively small" and its "per capita spendable money income" is 11 per cent plus less than the average

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