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March 1, 1941

A Study of Medical Problems Associated with Transients

JAMA. 1941;116(9):903. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820090103036

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The term transient is used to designate "any needy person in any community who is discriminated against in that community's program of material aid or medical care by the adoption of residence and technically related requirements." Such indefiniteness may explain why the estimates of the number of such transients vary from two hundred thousand to a million. The study sought to determine "(1) the origin of transiency from migration and the importance of lack of health as a cause, (2) the statutory limitations on public assistance to transients, (3) the administrative practices of agencies giving assistance to transients, (4) the medical needs of transients, (5) the influence of transients on community health, and (6) the most equitable and practical solution of the medical problems of transients and transiency." While economic motives largely determine interstate migration, a small part is caused by ill health, usually tuberculosis, which has brought at least

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