New York Medical Journal
Excerpt from New York Medical Journal: Incorporating the Philadelphia Medical Journal and the Medical News; A Weekly Review of Medicine The phenomena are most interesting, but not necessarily racially valuable. Love is sometimes only an obsession; in all cases it needs a coefficient in the sobriety of a well composed germ plasm. Really even the truest love cannot make a family happy which has damaged goods as the parental product. So the doctor of the future will appear in all true and realistic love stories. He will also perhaps mitigate the climaxes, and even lessen the triangular banalities of the drama. "Eugenics driving Cupid" or "Venus at the feet of AEsculapius" will make future masterpieces for the mural decorations of the National Hall of Health. But this is so very far ahead that I feel I am getting into the fringe of cloudland. The Doctor and Economics. I would like to inject a word regarding the so to say personal economics of the future medical man. We hear criticisms of the doctor's - and especially of the surgeon's fees, and we are told that the present sliding scale of charging is wrong. We arc told that, like Robin Hood, we rob the rich to pay the poor. The present methods of paying for medical service will no doubt be somewhat changed. A practice already exists in Germany by which the head of a family engages the services of his family doctor for a certain definite sum per year. There are conditions in which this plan may be a good one and it will obtain some supporters. The plan of medical insurance for the working man in some form should and will. Doctor Bristow believes, also be developed, and the need of sparing the poor will be lessened. There will be a larger number of institutional and salaried physicians. Still the present custom of paying a fee will also continue and largely prevail. People want to choose their advisers as they need them; and special talent will always command special prices as it does in other arts and professions. Meanwhile it must be said that the present "sliding scale" is by no means a widespread or general thing. The vast number of practising physicians the country over get just about the same amounts a visit day by day. Furthermore, while there are individual cases of extortion, these are only exceptions. There is no real amount of what may be called "graft" or dishonesty in the profession here. The system in vogue cannot be radically bad for the sick or economically bad for the community, because doctors rarely get rich and never get wealthy through their practice. Doctor Bristow states that perhaps ten to twenty per cent, of physicians may be called prosperous. The rest just get a living or less. I hope the doctor of the future will give better service and charge more for it. After all health is man's best asset, and a life is sometimes worth more than the highest professional fee - whether architect's, lawyer's, or doctor's. Publicity Medical Councils. The profession of medicine is a very personal kind of occupation, dealing intimately and confidentially with the lives of people. Our "business" is in a degree a private affair, and hence perhaps the disposition of the profession as a whole not to take the public and press easily into its confidence. It is often difficult or impossible to make the laity get at our point of view. The profession, however, owes it to the public to give salutary information and advice on matters pertaining to public health, the prevention of diseases, and also something of its aims, its accomplishments, and ideals. There should be and will be some kind of authoritative body in all large communities which should act as intermediary between the public and the medical profession, a body which should advise, inform, interpret, warn, defend, and if necessary apologize. When medical or sanitary questions of public interest and importance arise, such bodies should be called on to speak, instea"