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August 26, 1939

THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR

JAMA. 1939;113(9):876. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800340146023

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  I am a member of that most insignificant class of human beings which in the technical language of the medical profession is known as "the laity." Whatever meager medical knowledge I may have absorbed from a course in a nonapproved evening medical school some thirty years ago has long ago faded into oblivion, leaving me only a rather unusual understanding of the place of medicine in the modern social order. As a layman I am interested in some of the problems of medical economics as far as they relate to providing adequate and scientific medical service to the public (protecting the public from quacks and impostors) and as certain threats to the medical profession threaten equally my own vested interests. As a doctor of philosophy I am very much alarmed by a recent tendency to lower the dignity of and public respect for not only the degree

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