The average physician is not fully aware of the great number of voluntary public health agencies that exist throughout the country. He may know of two or three in his community and of a few national ones, but beyond that, unless he is very active in community affairs, civic matters, or public health, he usually has no knowledge of the number or types of programs of most of these agencies. This lack of knowledge may represent a serious deficiency, for it may indirectly prevent the patient from getting badly needed services.
One of the outstanding characteristics of the American way of life, in which America differs markedly from the totalitarian countries, is the profusion of voluntary agencies that exist freely without restraining government control or guidance. The freedom of speech and freedom of assembly that are among the major characteristics of our democracy allow and even encourage individuals to band
Press E. THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AND THE VOLUNTARY HEALTH AGENCIES. JAMA. 1954;155(14):1216–1219. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690320020006
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