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April 8, 1968

Physicians and the Marketplace

Author Affiliations

Dr. Blasingame is executive vice-president of the American Medical Association.

JAMA. 1968;204(2):145-148. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140150049011

A physician today whose interest extends beyond the immediate circumstances of his own career and encompasses the future of the medical profession as a whole must often feel that he could well declaim with Shakespeare's Hamlet: "The time is out of joint; O cursed spite,/That ever I was born to set it right!"

Certainly the time does appear to be out of joint, and members of the medical profession must accept the responsibility of providing leadership in setting it right.

In the situation of the profession and of the entire health care field there seems to be a series of paradoxes which defy easy solution. As patients, people respect their individual physicians, but, as members of the public, those same people may seriously question the motives and methods of the medical profession. More advances in the science of medicine and in the techniques of care have been developed in the