[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 10, 1948


Author Affiliations

West Des Moines, Iowa

JAMA. 1948;137(11):943-945. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890450023006

There is an incident of the demagogue in the French Revolution who said, "There go the people; let us hurry and overtake them—I am their leader."

The general practitioner of medicine stands in a peculiar relationship to the people of the community in which he serves. At least, that relationship is peculiar if one allows that a community is more or less limited in area, not quite urban and not quite rural. One may define a community somewhat arbitrarily as the smallest unit that will hold itself together and in which individuals live in groups either organized or unorganized, through which they express their needs, desires, purposes and interests. Such a social unit of course embraces more than the mere geographic limits of a town or a city. It reaches out and includes those elements which react on the business, social, educational, religious and cultural life of the group and