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November 27, 1996

Paul Revere and Health Care for the Indigent

Author Affiliations

New England Medical Center Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1996;276(20):1636. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540200022017

To the Editor.  —I enjoyed seeing Copley's portrait of Paul Revere on the cover of JAMA. However, the accompanying article1 overlooked one of his many accomplishments that is particularly timely in 1996. Paul Revere was one of the original subscribers to the oldest medical facility in New England and the third oldest in the nation. In 1796, a dozen compassionate Bostonians drafted its founding charter. The Boston Dispensary, as it was called, consisted of a group of physicians who practiced home care from a centralized apothecary. One of the original subscription tickets, signed by Revere, survives today in the Massachusetts Historical Society. In light of current trends in health care in which at-home care is increasingly important, this action by Paul Revere was as visionary as his other, better publicized ones. Interestingly, the public scandal described in JAMA1 in which Revere was court-martialed after a failed attack against