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November 1954

The Meaning of Social Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;94(5):870. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00250050184033

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The average physician is much disturbed about state medicine, socialized medicine, and social medicine, and, in this country, at any rate, the predominant reaction is one of confused anguish. Galdston's book, "The Meaning of Social Medicine," should go a long way toward dispelling the confusion about differences between social and socialized medicine. He points out very clearly that social medicine encompasses the whole of present-day diagnostic and therapeutic medicine, and according to some definitions it includes preventive medicine. But, in addition, social medicine embraces hygiene and public health. As community services they function in the social units of nation, state, city, or local community. Philosophically, social medicine expresses dissatisfaction with the plight of mechanical medicine, the practice of medicine as a sort of appendage of the laboratory vaguely aware of total man but oblivious to total environment.

The development of social medicine in England, in contradistinction to socialized medicine, is

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