—From the “The Vanishing Family Doctor” by Mary B. Spahr, in the August 23, 1947, issue of The Saturday Evening Post
What has happened to the old-fashioned general practitioner who went out in all kinds of weather and could handle anything from an infected finger to a baby without cracking a book? He is being put out of business by the very people who pay him the tribute of nostalgia, but pay their money to the specialist. Fifty years ago, a scattering of doctors were specialists. This year, almost every medical student you meet is planning to specialize.
Incidentally, people who sigh over the good old days forget the times they came into the office to find the doctor out. They forget what happened in those horse-and-buggy days when the doctor stayed night and day with a seriously ill patient. Nothing is said of the other patients who suffered or died unattended because he could not be reached.
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