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The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948$
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Anne Digby

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205135.001.0001

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The Medical Market

The Medical Market

Chapter:
(p.93) 5 The Medical Market
Source:
The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948
Author(s):

Anne Digby

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205135.003.0005

This chapter discusses the financial aspects of practising medicine in the 19th century. General practitioners as a class appear to have been reluctant to adopt more efficient financial management in their practices. The cultural ethos doctors themselves had helped to foster — in attempting to distance themselves from ‘trade’ and therefore try to establish themselves as professionals — had involved separating their services from immediate payment, which itself then contributed to patients' belated recompense of their doctors. During the mid-19th century easier conditions in the medical market seem likely to have enabled practitioners to give a higher priority to the clinical, compared to the economic, aspects of their practice. But during the late 19th century an unregulated growth of medical graduates, and a continued competitive struggle with other suppliers of health care, made it harder for GPs to make a medical living.

Keywords:   medical profession, medical market, general practice, medical practice, clinical aspects

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