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November 12, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(20):1183-1184. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450200051009

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An evil has lately sprung up which is not specially creditable to those concerned; this is the practice of paying commissions or rebates by specialists to persons bringing them cases. A few years since the medical world was set sneering, by the well-authenticated report that in a certain city the physicians sent out drummers to board incoming trains and by skilful touting to secure business for their respective employers. Fabulous tales were told of the wealth piled up in this way, and when th e light was turned on this practice, the Legislature enacted a law that all persons engaged in this business should wear a badge. This put an end to this scandal. There is little difference between these now obsolete methods and those now practiced in many of our Northern cities, only that professional men are employed as drummers and the slice of the fee is larger.


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