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August 1961

The American Right Wing, A Report to the Fund for the Republic, Inc.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(2):319. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620080151018

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The distribution curve of medical and political attitudes presents a fascinating spectrum with a bell-shaped cluster of the large majority near but not at the middle. But at either end far to the left and far to the right we have fringes, men who follow the one view or the other with such powerful passion that it distorts their thinking and confuses their attitudes. The distribution of the political and social views of physicians has an interesting hump towards the right. It is correlated in a general way with the natural conservatism of medical practice and the increased conservatism of older persons. The extreme right is characterized by reactionary elements who have failed to keep up with the shifting customs, the altered economic contexts, and the changed problems of contemporary existence. While the American Medical Association has often been the whipping boy for those who lean a little to the

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