Ferment in Medicine, a Study of the Essence of Medical Practice and of its new Dilemmas

by Richard M. Magraw, M.D., Professor, Department of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, University of Minnesota; Director, Comprehensive Clinic Program, University of Minnesota Medical School, with a chapter on Automation in Medicine written in collaboration with Daniel B. Magraw, M.B.A., Lecturer in Accounting, School of Business Administration, and Lecturer in Public Administration, School of Public Administration, University of Minnesota. xi + 272 pages. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia. 1966. $6.50

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  • Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Oakland, California

It may come as a surprise that the portion of the labor force to which the Census Bureau refers as the “Health Services Industry” is not only its fastest-growing segment, but, in total numbers of persons employed, is led only by agriculture and the construction industry. The problems and opportunities facing the professional members of the Health Services, at a time which in the future may be best remembered as the beginning of the age of automation, are surveyed in this book in a broad and comprehensive manner.

The role of the physician, and physician-patient relationships are discussed both from a basic philosophic standpoint and as they are affected by the rapidly changing patterns of medical education, practice, and scientific discovery. Increasing specialization in medical practice, with concomitant lessening of individual responsibility for total care of the patient, the evolution of the modern hospital and its ancillary services, the rise of group practice, and prepaid medical insurance plans are among the subjects considered in detail.