The house call, once upon a time


You know all those Norman Rockwell painting showing a kindly, white-haired doctor coming to the house to give a child his or her checkup? Once upon a time in America, that was the norm. In fact, as recently as 1930 — well within the memory of many Americans — 40% of all patient encounters in the U.S. were house calls, according to a 2011 study in American Family Physician.