The final and full report of the Commission on Medical Education, which has been at work since 1924 under the chairmanship of President Lowell of Harvard, follows immediately on the heels of the report of Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur's Committee on the Costs of Medical Care; and if this is a coincidence it is a happy one. The two learned bodies explore overlapping fields and support each other in many of their independent findings, but when the Lowell Commission deals with the question of "medical mass production," which is the major recommendation of the Wilbur Committee, it reports against the socialization of the medical profession in terms as vigorous as those of Dr. Wilbur's dissenting minority, the American Medical Association and the New York Medical Society. The grounds on which the Lowell Commission rejects the thought of socialized medicine are, moreover, precisely those of the Wilbur Committee's minority. These are that voluntary medical insurance systems tend to become compulsory and then result in mediocre professional service and a breach in the essentially intimate relations of doctor and patient.
While insisting that the evils now resulting from competition, overcrowding of the profession, specialization, prohibitive costs and poor distribution of modern facilities must be corrected by the coordinated effort of colleges, societies, hospitals and health services, the Lowell Commission rejects the thought of group practice and treatment in the following terms:
"Allowing for the defects in present methods there are fundamental advantages in the American form of practice which need to be strengthened. It is not necessary to substitute for the present efforts a paternalistic plan ill adapted to the philosophy of American life, but rather to encourage the evolution of a pattern which will embrace the desirable features of our present methods and the correction of their defects."
It is to be deplored that the controversy which the Wilbur Committee has opened by recommending group practice for ailing humanity in the mass should now crowd out of consideration the very wise and pertinent findings of the Lowell Commission on elementary and collegiate education; but it is at the same time fortunate that the purely incidental discussion of medical mass production in this educational report appears now as an antidote to the socialistic recommendations of the majority group in the Wilbur Committee. --Herald-Tribune.