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Reported cases of infectious syphilis declined between the peak years of 1947 and 1954, but since 1954 the number has remained practically unchanged each year. Public health officials understand well the responsibility of the general practitioner to protect the confidence of the physician-patient relationship, as well as his reluctance to suggest that his private patient be interviewed for contacts by a third person, but such personnel have been trained to keep all information in strict confidence and to bring to the investigation the same high professional standards as apply to diagnosis and treatment. If the trend of infectious syphilis is to turn down again, physicians must report all cases to the health department and arrange to have patients interviewed for information about sexual contacts. Examples of effective cooperation along these lines are cited.
Brown WJ, Sellers TF, Thomas EW. CHALLENGE TO THE PRIVATE PHYSICIAN IN THE EPIDEMIOLOGY OF SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1959;171(4):389–393. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010220013004
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