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April 1955

The Meaning of Social Medicine.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(4):510-511. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110600020

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The author presents much to make the reader think. It is worth while, even of you disagree with him.

Under the titles (1) What Is Social Medicine?, (2) The Failure of Modern Medicine, (3) Etiological Medicine, (4) Epidemic Constitution, (5) Mortality and Morbidity, and (6) Social Medicine and Medical Education, he discusses problems that have interested medical men and educators since the time of Hippocrates.

It is difficult to define social medicine or to tell what it embraces. It is not what people know as socialized medicine.

Some say it is a union of.remedial and preventive medicine. However, remedial medicine and medical education is a Gestalt into which social medicine cannot be fitted. Social medicine is a larger Gestalt and is not fusible with remedial medicine. It can and should absorb curative medicine, which is not complete and has on the whole failed. Curative medicine gives too much weight to

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