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November 1971

American Medicine in Crisis.

Arch Surg. 1971;103(5):658-659. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350110160033

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Here is another book of the kind that we will be seeing more and more of in the future. Though the title may seem dramatic, the book itself is not. The author shuns a myopic view of the current scene, choosing rather the far vision of history and philosophy as he leads us on a leisurely 194-page journey which begins in Ancient Egypt and ends at the crossroads before the diverging "paths ahead for the health art."

While enroute, we catch many momentary glimpses which, in fact, do illuminate the present scene—the Hammurubi Code of Law with its prescribed fees for surgeons; the earliest evidence of class distinction in quality of medical care as revealed in Plato's Republic; the post-Renaissance physician, Ramazzini, with his concern for man's total environment in relation to illness; the early 19th century physician, Thackrah, enlisting commitment to prevention of disease and social evil; the advances

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