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August 12, 1998

The Future of Primary Care—Reply

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998

JAMA. 1998;280(6):519. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-6-jac057001

In Reply.—Dr Volpintesta is correct that the future of physicians working as generalists depends, in a large measure, on the sustained response of the medical community to the challenge of educating and supporting dedicated physician generalists.

In the early 1990s, the medical schools of the country did engage in a period of constructive self-examination regarding the state of primary care medical education. Many schools put increased emphasis on the training of generalists, including developing departments of family medicine where they did not exist, increasing the length and quality of primary care clerkships, and encouraging ambulatory experiences for medical students and residents. The Association of American Medical Colleges established an Office of Generalist Physician Programs headed by an associate vice president, and it took a leadership role in supporting an annual national primary care day at the nation's medical schools.

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