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September 26, 1966

Abandon Internships; Establish New 'Primary Physicians,' Commission Urges

JAMA. 1966;197(13):37-38. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110130015004

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Abandonment of the traditional year of internship and the creation of a new specialty composed of "primary physicians" are among the major recommendations of the Citizens Commission on Graduate Medical Education.

The 11-member commission, which includes three physicians, was created three years ago by the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association. The action was taken, said Commission Chairman John S. Millis, PhD, because "the Association recognized there existed today a problem of complexity, fragmentation and inflexibility in graduate medical education."

In a first report of the results of its study, the Commission said that the three stages of medical education—medical school, internship, and residency—are "each independently planned, separately organized and controlled, and often overlapping in content and often leaving unfortunate gaps. The Commission holds the opinion that those years, particularly the graduate years, should constitute a progressive and articulated continuum."

To accomplish this, the Commission recommended that graduation