Caring For The Sick And The Poor
On this date in 1782, noted physician Benjamin Rush urged his fellow physicians to minister to the sick and take payment in goods and produce, rather than in coin. He also advised that his medical colleagues refrain from becoming too familiar with a patient, never to dispute a bill or sue a patient, or appear to be in a hurry while examining someone. A signer of the Declaration of Independence and surgeon general of the Continental Army, Rush was one of the more influential physicians of his time. He championed the rights of the insane and the poor, and was a staff physician at the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. Known as much for his efforts to care for the less fortunate as for his excellent medical skills, Rush established the first U.S. dispensary, or free clinic, in 1786.
Copyright Aetna InteliHealth, Inc., 2011. All rights reserved.