Medicine: Time Off

The patient who becomes upset when he calls his trusted family doctor and learns he is away on vacation generally calms down just as quickly. Doctors do rate their occasional rest. But are they taking time off too often, even between vacations? "It has become hazardous to develop a serious illness over a weekend or on a holiday, or even at night;" declared Manhattan's Dr. Milton Helpern last week. "The contagion of the medical day terminating at 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon in clinics seems to have infected some of the medical profession in private practice."

As New York City's...

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