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January 25, 1965

The Evolution of Hospitals in Britain

JAMA. 1965;191(4):349. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080040091045

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The changing patterns in medical practice and in medical education confer increased importance on today's hospitals. It is especially appropriate, therefore, and especially welcome, to have a book which broadly discusses the evolution of hospitals. Many separate institutions have published individual well-documented histories, but there has been a great need for an overall survey of the role of hospitals in medicine.

The present volume originated in a symposium, held in September, 1962, as the Third British Congress on the History of Medicine and Pharmacy. It gives us, so to speak, both a "longitudinal" and a "crosssectional" approach. The initial chapters each discuss a specific time span. Other papers analyze the various specialty hospitals—those institutions restricted to specific groups of patients, whether pregnant women, children, the mentally ill, or naval or military personnel. The final group of chapters discusses broader aspects, concerned with particular topics such as specialization; the hospital as

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