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May 4, 1984


Author Affiliations

Clemson, SC

JAMA. 1984;251(17):2184. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340410004002

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Back in 1953 I had just begun my practice in the small town of Clemson at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina. In the beginning I spent a lot of time reading medical journals and waiting for the local people to find out I was in town.

One August evening near dusk, my wife Jane and I were sitting in the swing when two farmers approached the porch and asked: "You the new doctor?" I nodded.

"Well, Doc, Daddy's down and sick and the doctor we called isn't treating him right."

"What's the matter?"

"This here doctor wants to put Daddy in a hospital."

I asked what he'd been treating him for.

"He hadn't been treating him for nothin'. Last time Daddy had a doctor was in '33 when he fell out of the loft and broke his leg."

"Well, what did the doctor say was