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Remaking the American PatientHow Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers$
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Nancy Tomes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622774

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622774.001.0001

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The High Cost of Keeping Alive

The High Cost of Keeping Alive

(p.48) Two The High Cost of Keeping Alive
Remaking the American Patient

Nancy Tomes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the increase in medical costs with the emergence of a new and better kind of medical man that replaced the old-style family doctor. The reality that the new physician's services now cost more because they were worth more was summed up in a 1926 article published by the Saturday Evening Post entitled “The High Cost of Keeping Alive.” According to physician-author Stanley M. Rinehart, at that time it took more time, more money and more education to be a doctor then than it did in the past. As a result, physicians had to tend to “the business side of medicine” more than their country predecessors had. This chapter considers the public debate about the new style of doctoring during the interwar period and the emergence of medical consumerism in the doctor's office. It also discusses the patients' “shopping problems” presented by the new doctor's office, along with their concerns regarding the doctor's businesslike approach to billing.

Keywords:   medical costs, Stanley M. Rinehart, physicians, patients, medical consumerism, shopping problems, billing

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