Fifty Years of Group Medicine In Tampa, Florida

Fifty Years of Group Medicine In Tampa, Florida


  • Fifty Years of Group Medicine In Tampa, Florida

Published Date

  • published 1941



One night in April 1891 three Spanish gentlemen sat around a
table at one of their native cafes in Ybor City, the village that was later
to become the center of Tampa's Latin colony, now containing nearly
30,000 inhabitants.

These gentlemen were smoking big cigars, twirling black
mustaches, and talking explosively. Occasionally one would pound the
table, shake his first at another, and bark in Spanish, "You are perfectly
right!" or "I agree with you fully!"

They had been in perfect accord, from the beginning, although an
American observer might have thought they were in violent quarrel,
instead of a friendly conference in the Latin manner. And that
conference was the real beginning of a movement for group medicine in
Tampa that still thrives, has more than 16,000 members in eleven
societies, and has saved its participants millions of dollars in doctor's and
hospital bills.

The conference at this preliminary meeting were Ramon F. Lopez,
Jose Bustamente and Jesus Cuesta, all leaders in the local cigar industry,
then small but destined a few years to employ thousands of workers, with
a payroll exceeding seven million dollars annually.

Soon after these pioneers had so vociferously formulated their
plan of voluntary co-operative medicine at the cafe table, they called