The Medical Market

Anne Digby

in The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948

Published in print June 1999 | ISBN: 9780198205135
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676512 | DOI:
The Medical Market

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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

Chapter.  14883 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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