Medicine: Billing the Doc

Bye-bye to that Christmas bird

Faced with a hefty bill from a physician, many people may turn to a young son or daughter and say: "Become a doctor. Then we won't have medical bills to worry about." That may soon be poor advice. Though physicians have long ministered to colleagues and their families free of charge, such professional courtesy, as it is euphemistically called, is now fast dying out. By the time Junior gets an M.D., the practice may in fact be as rare as the house call.

As with so much else in contemporary...

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