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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

(p.93) 5 The Medical Market
The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948

Anne Digby

Oxford University Press

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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