We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......

Chicago's War on Syphilis, 1937-1940: The Times, the Trib, and the Clap Doctor

Robert C. Kimbrough, MD
JAMA. 1996;275(7):568. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530310074042.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


In Chicago's War on Syphilis Suzanne Poirier has produced a detailed minibiography of Dr Ben L. Reitman of Chicago spanning the years of 1937 through 1940. (However, for a fuller picture of Dr Reitman, The Damndest Radical by Roger A. Bruns is recommended.) Professor Poirier alludes to Chicago's syphilis control efforts as a "microcosm" of the national effort to control venereal diseases in the 1930s, without much comparison data from the rest of the United States.

Poirier paints a picture of a lone crusader waging a "truth in advertising" campaign against city and federal government bureaucrats and the members of the Chicago Medical Society. Among other actions, he undertook an experimental distribution of mercury ointment to prostitutes and susceptible men and delivered numerous provocative speeches at the risk of his career. The battle was actually against the public's view that any venereal disease was equated with immoral behavior. The inability


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.