Health Care in the United States
Understanding health (are as it exists in the United Slates today requires a brief examination of its history. During the nineteenth century. people became doctors
in this country either through apprenticeships. purchasing a mail-order diploma. completing high school and attending a series of lectures, or obtaining bachelor’s
and M.D. degrees and studying abroad for a number of years. At that time. medical schools were largely proprietary institutions. and their officials were often more interested in acquiring students than in enforcing standards. The state licensing boards established to improve medical training and stop the proliferation of “irregular” practitioners failed to slow the growth of medical schools. and their number increased from 90 in 1880 to 160 in 1906. Medical school graduates were largely poor and frustrated because of the overabundance of doctors and quasi-medical practitioners. so doctors became highly competitive and anxious to limit the number of new practitioners. The obvious way to accomplish this was to reduce the number of medical schools and set up licensing laws to eliminate unqualified or irregular practitioners (Kendall. 1980 .