Philadelphia Medicine

Several hundred essays on the history and peculiarities of Medicine in Philadelphia, where most of it started.

The practice of Medicine is distinctive in a number of cities. This volume concerns the distinctiveness of physicians, hospitals and medical practice in the American city where the first hospital was founded, the first medical school, the first medical organization, and for a while the largest collection of medical organizations in the country.

At the present time, the electronic ability to compare Medicare records by the zipcode of the medical event has produced evidence of what anyone would expect -- considerable variation. And almost anyone could predict that this will lead to a search for the secrets underlying whatever region happens to be least expensive. Since this search will inevitably fail to demonstrate variations related to physician characteristics which are not collected and coded in the database, it will then likely produce suggestions that cost variations are related to some characteristics which did in fact happen to be collected and coded in the database.

Perhaps this collection of several hundred essays on the distinctiveness of Philadelphia medical care can warn us against the folly of jumping to such conclusions.