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April 1963

Regionalization and Rural Health Care: An Experiment in Three Communities

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(4):526-527. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620280126024

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For many years, public health planners have dreamed in their ivory towers of a neat, interlocking system of small hospitals, middle-size hospitals, and big hospitals, where patients move on a conveyor belt smoothly from bed to bed, dropping off at exactly the right point. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the greater number of citizens of this country do not like to be regimented. Their actions in seeking medical care resemble those of Goldilocks and the Three Bears—"This chair is too hard; this chair is too soft; this one is just right." If this static concept had been well established earlier in the century, one may be sure that two obscure hamlets, Rochester in Minnesota and Iowa City in Iowa, would never have been visited by physicians from all over the world. Planners never seem to realize that it is the man who makes the institution, and that men are made by unskilled

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