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Many opinions have been expressed, founded largely on impression, as to the extent to which patients leave their home towns for treatment of gonorrhea or syphilis, and as to why and to what extent they choose between physicians and clinics. The desire for secrecy, the scarcity of specialists in the smaller communities, the high cost of adequate treatment, the availability of clinics and other reasons are advanced in behalf of the various opinions. Actual data to support these impressions are lacking.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently modified its system of reporting gonorrhea and syphilis. As one result of this change it has been possible to study some of these obscure matters and to arrive at some conclusions of qualitative, if not quantitative, value.
Unfortunately, since the new system went into effect on Jan. 1, 1930, only some 6,200 cases of gonorrhea and 3,500 cases of syphilis, reported by
NELSON NA, DeWOLFE HM. THE MIGRATION, FOR TREATMENT, OF PATIENTS WITH GONORRHEA OR SYPHILIS: COMPARISON WITH THAT OF PATIENTS WITH TUBERCULOSIS IN MASSACHUSETTS IN 1930. JAMA. 1932;98(10):794–799. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730360016004
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