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The Concept of Social Medicine as Presented by Physicians and Other Writers in Germany, 1779-1932

JAMA. 1937;109(8):615. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780340071039.
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ABSTRACT

This study summarizes German material that is little known in this country, dealing with public health and generally involving the activities of state or local governments. The tendencies of such activities were greatly influenced by wider social developments. The early work of Virchow, Neumann and their group was closely related to the revolution of 1848. When that revolution failed and the rise of nationalism became a dominant characteristic of the period, von Stein and another group focused much of their attention on state activity in fields closely analogous to what is known as public health in this country. When health insurance was established in Germany by Bismarck in 1883, a group headed by Alfred Grotjahn turned its attention to the possibilities of health care through a synthesis of public health insurance and what it designated as "social pathology" and "social therapy" and sought to utilize the conclusions of the social

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