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February 21, 1966

Medical Educators Forecast the Future

JAMA. 1966;195(8):49-50. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100080021006

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If present growth continues the world population will soar from the 3 billion of 1960 to about 7.5 billion by the end of this century, Malcolm H. Merrill, MD, told the American Medical Association's 62nd Annual Congress on Medical Education.

Dr. Merrill is director of Health Service, Office of Technical Services and Research, US Agency for International Development. He said:

"For most people, the end result of overpopulation is envisioned as one of masses of people fighting for space and for the progressively decreasing per capita food supply, perhaps in extremity even resorting to cannibalism..."

There is basis for such fears, he said, but also realization that the problem is not new—merely changed in magnitude—that it is a world problem, and that it must be attacked on a worldwide basis.

A Crucial Role  "Yet from our standpoint as physicians," Dr. Merrill said, "they are above all else personal problems for

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