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A MONTHLY MAGAZINE
DEVOTED TO THE
PRESERVATION OF HEALTH, MENTAL
1 MAY 8 1888)
VOLUME XVIII. JANUARY TO JUNE.
T. P. CORBALLY, A.M., M.D., LA
Entered according to Act of Congress, A.D. 1887, by A. N. BELL, in the office of the Librarian
of Congress, at Washington.
MAY 8 1888
HEALTH INSURANCE, OR THE FINANCIAL RELA.
TION OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION TO THE
PUBLIC.* By Woods HUTCHINSON, A.M., M.D., Lecturer on Hygiene, Iowa College of
Physicians and Surgeons, Des Moines, Iowa.
IF I were to put the question to this august representative assembly, “What is the most annoying and unpleasant feature of our professional work, from what source spring our most harassing, though comparatively petty cares and our most provoking disappointments ?" I think I should have no difficulty in determining, even if all spoke at once, that what we may call the financial question in medicine enjoyed that “ bad eminence” more generally than any other which could be suggested. No doubt much of this difficulty and unpleasantness is inherent in the very nature of the process ; for this is the point of metamorphosis at which our talent and industry must be coined into their equivalent of hard cash, where our lofty ambitions, noble aims, or Utopian schemes for benefiting the race come into merciless contact with the hard, cold realities of life and the struggle for existence, always, at best, a mortifying experience. Friction at this point is inevitable ; a reduction to a minimum is all we can hope to effect. Whether the financial relations which we sustain to the laity are the best possible which could be assumed to effect this reduction, is the question to which I wish briefly to call your attention to-day. I stand here simply as an animated interrogation point.
* Read in the Section on Public Health at the Thirty-Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association.