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If, today, the hospital patient gets help with his personal troubles, it is owing in large measure to the pioneer work of Dr. Richard Cabot and Ida Cannon at the Massachusetts General Hospital. At the turn of the century, social service as an aid to the scientific medical care of patients in hospitals and clinics was a novel—and often shocking—idea to doctors and hospital administrators. In this book Cannon tells how medical social work started and how it has grown to its present professional status in the forty-five years since Dr. Cabot placed the first social worker in the Out Patient Department of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and discusses the broad social implications of medical care today.