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June 26, 1937

ORGANIZATION SECTION of the Journal of the American Medical AssociationDevoted to the Organizational, Business, Economic and Social Aspects of Medical Practice

JAMA. 1937;108(26):199B-206B. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780260241056

Regimentation in Medicine  THOMAS R. BOGGS, M.D. BALTIMOREIn these years of change, which affect all avenues of human endeavor, it is not strange that the medical profession should feel the pressure of new philosophies of human relations. Of these none is more powerful than the trend toward compulsion, by organized efforts, into a conformity called standardization. This standardization, with excellent ideals as its rallying point, may yet contain in its logical development methods which can but lead to bureaucratic stereotypism far worse than the evils it is set up to correct. In the past twenty years, at first slowly, and since 1930 very rapidly, there have been formed some fourteen incorporated bodies for the standardization and certification of individuals as specialists in the various fields of medicine. The driving motive was a sincere desire to improve the quality of medical service to the community, the ideal being that by this means of certification the public could be made aware of the competence of a given doctor in his specialty and, conversely by implication, the incompetence of the uncertified. To coordinate the scope and methods of these boards a superboard has been incorporated to direct the general trend of the standardization and centralize the efforts to put it in effect. Time does not permit a full discussion of all the historical elements which have led to the situation that now exists, but I shall try in a few minutes to bring up some of the points that may make the thoughtful pause and consider.

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