Each state chairman of the Procurement and Assignment Service for Physicians is faced with the baffling task of keeping track of the migratory habits of his colleagues. Among other bits of information this entails on his part a knowledge of those of the medical profession who die at any time in any city or town within his area and of those by whom they are replaced. Hence it has happened that during my term of service as state chairman for Massachusetts I have perforce explored with increasing diligence a curious source for medical research—the obituary columns of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
In a representative issue more than seventy deaths may be reported. If one happens to be morbidly inclined, one suspects that vascular disease affecting either the heart, the kidneys or the cerebral vessels is a disorder to which the medical profession has special predisposition. In 1944,