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August 1, 1959


Author Affiliations

1060 E. Green St. Pasadena 1, Calif.

JAMA. 1959;170(14):1714-1715. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010140094024

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To the Editor:—  The time-honored meaning of the word physician is under close scrutiny. We need an immediate and a long-range philosophy of medicine. The immediate needs must come from within the profession. There must be unity in principles, unity in action, and unity of dedication to the fundamental motivations and principles that facilitated the emergence of medicine as a great science.The motivation of the physician today will have tremendous impetus on the future of medicine. If our primary motivations are knowledge of disease, understanding of the patient, and treatment of the patient, we shall remain true physicians, humanitarians, and practitioners of the healing art. But when our primary motivation revolves around economics, we are in trouble. The latter motivation is then subject to legislation, controls, third-party intervention, and numerous alien impacts on the patient-physician relationship. The large increase in number of malpractice suits against doctors and hospitals proves

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