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In Reply.—I appreciate Dr Barness' interesting reply to my letter. Certainly, if his charge regarding the training of family practitioners were true, I would have agreed with him completely. This point has been raised repeatedly and debated ad nauseam. However, it points to a basic misunderstanding of the family practice curriculum.
In the majority of family practice programs, children are seen throughout the three-year residency in the residents' clinics. Of course, children are not seen exclusively. Their parents are often also a part of the family practice resident's patient base, as well as their grandparents. Of course, in residency family practitioners only have six months of inpatient pediatric training and most would not presume to undertake practice in such fields as critical neonatal care without appropriate referral and/or consultation. The argument that family practitioners cannot accurately ascertain when such consultation is needed, and seek such consultation, is specious, belies
Burns SC. Pediatric Training in Family Practice Programs-Reply. Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(8):829. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460080015005