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It is almost a decade since family practice has been recognized and legitimized by the profession, and predictably, there is much confusion as to what this "new specialty" is. A unique postulate of this movement is the mandatory continuing medical education. As a result, there has emerged a plethora of material attempting to define, describe, interpret, or specify the discipline. Most unfortunately, much of the material has been produced by those either least sympathetic to the objectives of the family physicians or most unaware of their needs.
Topics in Family Practice is an example of apparently well-intentioned but misguided effort. The presentations cover an array of topics in medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, and surgery. Although the average length of the 41 articles is eight to ten pages, the shortest, "Practical Psychopharmacology of Antipsychotic Drugs," is a bare 1 1/4 pages. The longest, "Surgical Hypertension in Family
Hirsch LL. Topics in Family Practice. JAMA. 1977;237(4):387-388. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270310073016