THE DOCTORS' DILEMMA
After paying a ten dollar infirmary fee at the beginning of the year, a student is often surprised and annoyed when he receives a bill from one of the University doctors following a short sojourn in Stillman infirmary, and his annoyance will not decrease if a few days later some friend informs him that he has spent several weeks in the same place without paying a cent.
The explanation lies in the fact that under the present system the several doctors appertaining to the college receive only half of a full salary, and are supposed to make up the rest and perhaps more on the patients at Stillman. However, if one of these student patients declares himself unable to pay, the services are to be rendered free of charge.
Clearly, this is not a satisfactory mode of procedure whereby a particular distinction is made between men who may declare themselves unable to pay and men who may say nothing at all. In the first place, the doctor has no authentic means at hand with which to check up on a student professing himself unable to require his services. Again, there will always be some patients disinclined to admit their inability to pay even if the loss of money incommodes them, and conversely, there will always be some well-off students who may avoid all payment. In particular, the system is unfair to the doctors, who must serve paying and non-paying students alike on their own word.
The natural and most suitable remedy would be to have the University go the whole way and give each of the doctors a full salary, and this action could probably be expedited out of the annual surplus in the Hygiene Department. Failing this, the authorities could at least do away with some of the difficulties by compiling a list, such as exists at Yale, in which all references on the students are looked up and the men checked as either capable or incapable of paying for doctors' services.