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October 15, 1973

Community Medicine

Author Affiliations

University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore
University of Rochester Rochester, NY
University of California School of Medicine San Diego, Calif
University of Utah College of Medicine Salt Lake City

JAMA. 1973;226(3):353-354. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230030065026

To the Editor.—  We were thoroughly dismayed by the editorial in The Journal (224:522, 1973), "Community Medicine: A Concept in Search of Definition," not only because it added to the existing widely prevalent confusion regarding the definition of community medicine,1,2 but also because it reached conclusions that even those misconceptions could not justify.We believe that community medicine is an appropriate title for a department that professes the specific academic disciplines used in disease prevention and control.It is true that the application of our basic disciplines is so broad that our departments have suffered from excessive titular flux. Twenty years ago, the dominant title was preventive medicine and public health. Social medicine also enjoyed brief popularity and more recently community health has been chosen as the title for a few new departments.This nosologic ingenuity describes differences in focus of application of our disciplines—a healthy characteristic. There