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The Boss
TURNING HOSPITAL BEDS INTO VOTES: SOCIALIZED MEDICINE UNDER THE HAGUE MACHINE

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

The general reputation of the Medical Center among physicians in the metropolitan area is such that young men just out of medical school do not like to serve their interneships there if they can obtain appointments elsewhere. Stories of the political control and of the espionage circulate from one medical school to another. It is well known that the resident physicians, who are in general very capable men, discourage the autopsies by which young doctors learn their trade. It is also well known in the schools that no important piece of medical research has come from the Medical Center in the twenty years it has been in operation.

The doctors find themselves constantly hampered by the political control over them. Mayor Hague, who is an expert in many things, thinks of himself as also an expert on hospitals; he does not have an office in the Center only to get away from City Hall. He is the real superintendent, and on occasion has countermanded doctors' orders, even those of Doctor O'Hanlon. It is well known that most of the physicians receive no written record of their appointments, so that they can be dismissed without notice. The doctors cannot depend upon the political appointees who are on the payroll, but who obey orders or not as they please. When subordinates can go over the doctors' heads to the Mayor, the normal relationship between physicians and staff is impossible.

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