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May 18, 1984

Machines and the Physician

Author Affiliations

Andover, Mass

JAMA. 1984;251(19):2514. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340430020013

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To the Editor.—  The sentence "The specialist-physician is metamorphosing into a technocrat and a businessman" in Dr Grouse's recent editorial was very interesting. I would like to recall an experience that occurred to me in July 1964, the day I opened my practice. My dad had been a general practitioner, operating out of his house, where he maintained a threeroom office for well onto 40 years. I had rented a spanking new, very efficient suite in a big medical office complex in the more plush part of town and invited my dad to come down and see the office on "opening day." The secretary-receptionist area was typical of the modern physician's office with a "cashier's-type window" that somewhat separated the staff from the patients waiting in the waiting room. This contrasted rather remarkably with my dad's practice, which had no secretaries, no nurses, no chaperones, no receipts, no bills, and