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August 5, 1988

Stability of Specialty Preferences Among Medical School Graduates

Author Affiliations

Association of American Medical Colleges Washington, DC

Association of American Medical Colleges Washington, DC

JAMA. 1988;260(5):638-639. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410050054023

To the Editor.—  In a recent article on stability of specialty preferences, Babbott et al1 included within their definition of primary care the subspecialties of internal medicine and pediatrics. With this unconventional definition, the authors report that 47.5% of the male graduates and 55.7% of the female graduates planned to enter primary care specialties. It seems unjustified to count the subspecialties under primary care medicine. With this revision, fewer than 40% of our graduates will end up as generalists, a figure well below that endorsed by the academic establishment 15 years ago. It is not a salubrious picture.