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October 27, 1906


Author Affiliations

Professor of Diseases of the Rectum, Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine; Prosector to the Professor of Anatomy, Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania; Consulting Surgeon, Charity Hospital. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1906;XLVII(17):1365-1367. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210170029002g

THE GENERAL PRACTITIONER AND THE SPECIALIST.  In this age of commercialism the struggle for existence is of the keenest. This condition exists in both the business world and in professional life, but especially so in the latter. Is it strange, therefore, that the general medical practitioner looks in awe and wonder at the growth of the specialist and the multiplication of the specialties and asks himself: What is to become of the family doctor? Or: Has my position become that merely of an intelligence office, where the general public can obtain information as to suitable specialists for the treatment of eye, ear, nose, throat, stomach, heart, lung, kidney, liver, or other troubles?Assuming, for the purpose of argument, that the objections urged against specialism in medicine are well founded, what would be the result if it were possible to abolish the specialist? Would the best interest of medicine thereby be

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