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January 25, 1964

Physician-Scientists and the Medical Profession

JAMA. 1964;187(4):307. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060170061021

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To the Editor:—  In the editorial, "E Pluribus Unum," (JAMA185:720 [Nov 16] 1963) the point is made that "It is folly to consider the student who goes into basic science as lost to medicine." There is no need to look so far afield; some physicians who go into basic science are also "lost to medicine."A physician who holds an MD degree but elects to undertake graduate study and pursue a career of basic (medical) science may be denied the right of membership in the American Medical Association. Membership appears to be available only to licensed practicing physicians in accordance with the bylaws of the individual county medical societies.It is difficult under the best conditions for the practicing physician to maintain an adequate working knowledge of the tremendous and ever-increasing output of basic research which directly affects medicine. It would seem, therefore, that there is a real