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August 11, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(15):1503. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970150071021

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To the Editor:—  The principle of service benefits has now been operative for a considerable period of time, sufficiently long for some appraisal as to its effects on the general public and on the medical profession at large. My understanding is that the appeal to the profession for service benefits was made on two grounds: one, to help the indigent receive medical care by a physician of their choice and, two, to enhance the number of patients visiting private doctors by diminishing the need of clinic care. Thus, the appeal was made on a humanitarian basis and at the same time on an economic basis. Physicians, by and large, are blessed with a spirit of humanitarianism, and many members of the profession heeded the call and agreed to render paid-in-full medical care for low-income families and individuals. Many other physicians honored service benefits as payment in full without binding themselves

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