Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
The success of American medicine is often attributed to the profession's ability to serve the public on its own terms. Why should doctors care if, from the patient's point of view, the terms chosen--solo practice and emphasis on the "doctor-patient relationship"--mean that a doctor performs unsupervised services for unregulated fees? What does it matter to them that the poor are outside the system altogether, treated in charity wards or public hospitals which are the medical equivalent of Andrew Carnegie's libraries, a small concession to charity from an accelerating machine of wealth, power, and influence? In a country proud of its "pluralism" and fearful of "government interference," a monolithic self-regulating profession is taken as a sign of health. Few people are persuaded that medical care is a fit object of social planning: We have no national health policy and we are mostly proud of it.
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VCU University Archives