The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Ideas and Opinions |

A Marxist View of Medical Care

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant support: in part by grants from the National Center for Health Services Research (HS-02100) and the Medical Clinics Complex Education Fund of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Howard Waitzkin, M.D.; La Clinica de la Raza; 1501 Fruitvale Avenue; Oakland, CA 94601.

Boston, Massachusetts

© 1978 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(2):264-278. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-89-2-264
Text Size: A A A

Marxist studies of medical care emphasize political power and economic dominance in capitalist society. Although historically the Marxist paradigm went into eclipse during the early twentieth century, the field has developed rapidly during recent years. The health system mirrors the society's class structure through control over health institutions, stratification of health workers, and limited occupational mobility into health professions. Monopoly capital is manifest in the growth of medical centers, financial penetration by large corporations, and the "medical-industrial complex." Health policy recommendations reflect different interest groups' political and economic goals. The state's intervention in health care generally protects the capitalist economic system and the private sector. Medical ideology helps maintain class structure and patterns of domination. Comparative international research analyzes the effects of imperialism, changes under socialism, and contradictions of health reform in capitalist societies. Historical materialist epidemiology focuses on economic cycles, social stress, illness-generating conditions of work, and sexism. Health praxis, the disciplined uniting of study and action, involves advocacy of "nonreformist reforms" and concrete types of political struggle.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $42.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Journal Club
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.