July 7, 1975

The Physicians

Author Affiliations

Lake Oswego, Ore

JAMA. 1975;233(1):24. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260010026013

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To the Editor.—  It is puzzling to note the continued absence of any critical comment on the growing gulf between our two generations of practicing physicians. In the past, old men were running our communities, and their policies embodied more continuity than change. In medicine, the older physician continued to be productive, growing in insight, while retaining a basically sound knowledge of medicine.Currently, the older practitioner is looked on as an inert and intellectually slovenly creature. Special programs are being tailored for the physician more than 50 years old. According to an article in Chicago Medicine (77:912, 1974), a Southern Medical Association's program was "designed to provide hope and instruction for those physicians who still desire to lead viable lives and maintain their status through continuing education," a program for those "who don't fit into the youth culture of today." The aging have had no previous experience that could