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September 25, 1991

The Future of Medical Care

Author Affiliations

Chicago, Ill

Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1991;266(12):1647-1648. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470120049021

To the Editor.  —The American Medical Association (AMA) recommendations for dealing with the crisis of the medically uninsured fail to address many central health issues that will face our society in the next century.Physicians feel persecuted. The general public has less faith in our profession. Yet the fundamental question is the degree to which we have contributed to the current situation. We like to blame lawyers and insurance companies for the current "crisis" of faith. Physicians in the 1960s and 1970s enjoyed a greater freedom to practice as they liked. They also enjoyed a compensation system that may have led to abuses for which we are paying now. As a group, we have failed to police ourselves so the government has had to intervene. Our inability to self-regulate seems to be a recurrent theme.This country faces a projected shortage of primary care providers. Many of our brightest students