The Medical School in Wartime

Antonio M. Gotto and Jennifer Moon

in Weill Cornell Medicine

Published by Cornell University Press

Published in print March 2016 | ISBN: 9781501702136
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781501703676
The Medical School in Wartime

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This chapter describes how Dr. William Ladd's tenure as dean coincided with a period of intense societal change triggered by the Depression. The impact was felt at Cornell, as questions about the evolving relationship between medicine and society became increasingly urgent. In keeping with the rising costs, medicine as a profession had become increasingly prestigious, and the average take-home pay for a physician was about four times the national average. For most Americans, the increase in health care expenses was financially burdensome. Public discussion turned to the problem of access to health care. Some politicians began advocating for federal- and state-sponsored health insurance plans; other insurance models, such as third-party reimbursement, were also proposed. In response, Cornell University President Livingston Farrand urged graduating physicians to involve themselves in social problems.

Keywords: Dr. William Ladd; Depression era; medicine; health care; health insurance plans; third-party reimbursement; Livingston Farrand

Chapter.  8596 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Higher and Further Education

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