Medicine: House Calls

As modern medicine has become progressively more scientific and impersonal, increasing numbers of patients are complaining: "I can't get my doctor to make a house call." To test the validity of the complaint, Medical Economics polled a sample of the nation's 153,000 practicing physicians, got replies from more than 1,200. As expected, general practitioners make most of the house calls (75%). Next come internists (almost 13%) and pediatricians (about 6%). General surgeons make less than 3%, obstetricians and gynecologists just over 1%.

Within each group there is tremendous variation. Though 99% of G.P.s make some house calls, the number ranges from as...

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