The Business of Private Medical Practice
Doctors, Specialization, and Urban Change in Philadelphia, 1900-1940
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication
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List of Maps
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As I near the end of this long journey, it is a great pleasure to reflect upon the many family, friends, mentors, students, and colleagues who have given me inspiration and encouragement over the years. Without them, this book would not have been possible. I first want to thank my parents, Jim and Margy, and my sister, Kirsti, for their unwavering love and support. I could not have asked for a...
List of Abbreviations
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The health care “system” in the United States has many problems, with rising costs and declining access being the two most intractable. By any measure, we have the most expensive health care system in the world. As I write this introduction, the latest data on national health expenditure (NHE) show that the United States spent $2.6 trillion in 2010. This tally was equivalent to $8,402...
Part I: 1900-1920
Chapter 1: The Primacy of Private Practice
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In a small, well-worn memorandum book, young Dr. DeForest Porter Willard Jr. (1884–1957), kept track of the highlights of his life and career in Philadelphia in the early twentieth century (table 3). His parents began the memo book to record childhood milestones, such as first words spoken, but Dr. Willard assumed authorship during adolescence. Apart from jotting...
Chapter 2: The Doctor as Business Owner
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As American doctors aspired to new professional status, an internal debate raged about the proper role of the commercialism in medicine, and Philadelphia doctors were no exception. For example, in a contentious paper read before the Philadelphia County Medical Society in 1901, Dr. John B. Roberts distinguished “proper and just enterprise and thrift in one’s professional work and what is an
Chapter 3: Downtown Specialists and Neighborhood GPs
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In her unpublished autobiography, Dr. Catherine MacFarlane recounted her medical career in Philadelphia, from studying as a medical student at Woman’s Medical College (1895–1898), to training as an intern at Woman’s Hospital (1898–1899), to working and teaching in an obstetrical clinic (1899–1901), to setting up her first private medical practice (1901), to specializing in gynecology...
Part II: 1920-1940
Chapter 4: New Career Paths, New Business Methods
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When Dr. Carl C. Fischer finished his internship year at Hahnemann Hospital and then passed his state board examinations in 1929, his career was no different from all of the other newly minted medical doctorates in Pennsylvania after 1914, the year in which the state became the first to require internship for licensure. Young doctors no longer entered private practice directly, but rather...
Chapter 5: From Center City to Suburb
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Besides signaling new career paths and business practices, especially in large cities, increased specialization and hospital-based medicine also transformed patient care. Not only had traditional services been shifted from the home to the hospital, such as attendance at childbirth, but a variety of new surgical procedures and diagnostic tests were centered in hospitals, such as tonsillectomies...
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The Business of Private Medical Practice analyzes the urban origins of one of our nation’s most intractable health care access problems: the uneven distribution of doctor’s offices, or private medical practices. Unlike early studies of the location of doctor’s offices published from the 1920s to the 1940s, which focused on rural-urban divisions at the county, state, and regional level,...
Appendix: Notes on Sources and Methods
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About the Author, Series Page
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Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 13 graphs, 11 maps, 20 tables
Publication Year: 2014
Series Title: Critical Issues in Health and Medicine