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September 1960

Notes of a Soviet Doctor.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(3):455-456. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820030143020

We would all welcome a free exchange of information and friendly visits between physicians in this country and in Russia, where for the first time in modern history a substantial body of physicians has no professional organization of their own. They exist primarily as an arm of an all-powerful state whose various and varying missions must be done. For a very long time in the past physicians were imported into old Russia. The doctors were all foreigners. The health of the downtrodden and miserable people of the lower classes was deplorable, an example of massive neglect of the individual patient and of public health. Late in the nineteenth century, the Zemstvo physicians—pioneer doctors with missionary fervor—provided the masses in Russia with their first taste of medical care. At their instigation, public health facilities were started. The great land masses of Russia were divided into sections, regions, and smaller units well

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