Going to see the doctor then and now, my father was a single practitioner who had an office at 19 East 80th Street, near Madison Avenue in New York City. He was a general practitioner, as well as Hematologist.
When a patient came to my father's office, every stage of the examination was done by my father, with the help of an office nurse. My father also made hospital visits, and I remember traveling across the Queensborough Bridge down to Welfare Island in the automobile elevator and then a series of visits to the hospital on the island. In addition, my father made calls after dinner in the evening to individual patients at their homes, sometimes I was in the backseat. These calls took place after dinner, and my father's visits to hospitals took place in the afternoon.
Today all of the functions that my father performed are done by a whole series of different people. Every step takes one to another doctor, another examination, and another step in the process.
The final doctor, my Hematologist, tells me the outcome of these many examinations. Thus, medicine has become an ever more divided activity with more and more professionals participating in ever narrower parts of the examination.
My father did it all, today all requires hospital full of specialists. Of course the medicine is much better, but how about the doctor's life?