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September 27, 1965

The Troubled Calling: Crisis in the Medical Establishment

JAMA. 1965;193(13):1129. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090130057028

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Few physicians will have the patience to read to the end this shrill diatribe against the medical profession in general and the American Medical Association in particular. The author, "a veteran medical reporter for the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal," weakens his case fundamentally in two ways: first, he fails to give his credentials, and, second, he fails to document his statements. The reader is given no reason to believe that the author is qualified to criticize, as he does, every facet of modern American medicine. The source of a quotation is occasionally named, but at least as many statements are attributed to unnamed authorities or to "competent opinion." There are no bibliographic references, even for economic and other factual material, so that the reader is given no opportunity to judge the evidence for himself. Journalistic faults abound, among them exaggerated language, quotation out of context, and argumentum ad hominem.


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