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Article
September 11, 1909

POSSIBILITIES OF MODERN PREVENTIVE MEDICINE

JAMA. 1909;LIII(11):875. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550110049009

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Abstract

It has been asserted that if the knowledge of the transmission of disease which we already possess could be fully utilized it would be possible—without the discovery of a single new fact—to increase materially the average span of human life and immeasurably to diminish human distress. Sanitarians have often longed for an opportunity to prove the truth of this in a community where the necessary authority and facilities could be provided and thus to show what modern preventive medicine is capable of accomplishing. It seems that in the Island of Guam many of the conditions of such a medical Utopia can be found.

This island, which is solely a naval station, has a native population of 11,636 and a foreign population of 398, about one-half of which is made up of the naval forces. The government is a sort of beneficent autocracy entirely in the hands of naval officers, and

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