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November 26, 1938

THE STUDENT SECTION of the Journal of the American Medical Association: Devoted to the Educational Interests and Welfare of Medical Students, Interns and Residents in Hospitals

JAMA. 1938;111(22):2059-2070. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790480089042

Medicine and Civil Government  HAVEN EMERSON, M.D.NEW YORKNo longer ago than 1910 the students of the University of Edinburgh were congratulated by Sir William Osler on the unexcelled thoroughness with which the prevention of the acute infective fevers had been carried out in Scotland and the fact that the death rate of their city was among the lowest in Europe (15.3 per thousand). And yet if our New York Metropolitan Area should now suffer from such high rates as then and there prevailed, great would be the medical and social consternation, hysterical the publicity, and high the probability of a change of city government.If a drop in the death rate from 15 to 10 per thousand of the population could express so considerable an alteration of professional and public attitude and such a different perspective in social conscience and ambition, what may have been some of the