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October 6, 1969

Currents in American Medicine: A Developmental View of Medical Care and Education

Author Affiliations

University of Missouri Columbia

JAMA. 1969;210(1):138. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160270100037

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Among the many new books on what is wrong with American medicine, this small one is very good. This well-organized broad overview of a very complicated matter by one author is a better approach than the more fragmented, multi-author reports from the symposia, of which there are so many.

The opening three sections, of about 30 pages each, are brief and necessarily oversimplified histories of some main trends in medical education, research, and services since 1900. It is an anecdotal and personal political history, by an amateur historian, but with exaggerated concern for fair play and gentleness. The result is still interesting and particularly suitable for the initiate, our wives, and nonmedical friends.

The final two sections are better yet. The author defines and discusses some actual crucial issues in medicine, showing analytic skills which may have given an academic flavor to his administration of the Office of Economic Opportunity.