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August 1, 1959


Author Affiliations

St. Louis, Mo.

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine.; Annual Phi Rho Sigma Lecture, St. Louis University Medical School, March 3, 1959.

JAMA. 1959;170(14):1716-1718. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.63010140024026

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Medical students have informed me that they hear and read virtually nothing which answers their growing curiosity about third-party practice as they approach their entrance into the private practice of medicine. My views on this subject were sought because I am engaged in the private practice of surgery and have also engaged in the encouragement and planning of third-party medical programs in our community.

The term "third party" appears in the 1955 edition of the American Medical Association's "Guiding Principles for Evaluating Management and Union Centers" which, among several features, quotes chapter 7, section 4, pages 26-27 of The Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association, December, 1954: "Free choice of physician is defined as that degree of freedom in choosing a physician which can be exercised under usual conditions of employment between patients and physicians. The interjection of a third party who has a valid interest, or

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