Fishbein, Morris

Fishbein, Morris

(1889–1976) physician, journal editor, author; born in St. Louis, Mo. He was a doctor based in Chicago, but had little patient contact after 1913, when he became assistant editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (1913–24) and then editor (1924–49). This forum gave him enormous influence in American medical politics, and he became known as the "voice of the AMA." He was an outspoken critic of medical quackery and unorthodox medical procedures as well as the public's right to basic medical knowledge. To this latter end, he wrote numerous syndicated newspaper columns, the magazine Hygeia (1924), and books for the lay public, including Modern Home Medical Advisor (1935), long a fixture in many homes. He was a vocal advocate of traditional fee-for-service medicine and an opponent of compulsory national health insurance or any government involvement. In 1949 the journal's trustees stripped him of his editorial forum, limiting his comments to scientific subjects.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.