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May 13, 1961

Medical Students, Family Doctors, and Family Practice

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Rardin is Vice Chairman, Section on General Practice, American Medical Association; Chairman Education Committee, Ohio State Medical Association; Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Ohio State University College of Medicine; and Past President, Ohio Academy of General Practice.

JAMA. 1961;176(6):479-482. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040190001001

The need for more family physicians is recognized by the American public and by medical educators, but medical graduates have shown a decreasing inclination to enter the general practice of medicine as family physicians. A committee studying this problem predicts an ever-increasing need for such doctors. Medical schools can reverse the present trend by bringing back more expert family physicians to their teaching faculties. During his 5 critical years the medical student needs intimate contact with highly qualified, experienced, and respected family doctors. The disappearance of these key figures from the American medical scene cannot be prevented unless family physicians and medical educators alike face and accept this challenge.