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June 23, 1962


Author Affiliations

Oakland 12, Calif.

JAMA. 1962;180(12):1052. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050250058014

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If general practice is fulfilling an essential medical need, it will survive; if it is outmoded, all our thrashing about will not save it. I am one who believes that general practice fulfills an indispensable medico-socio-economic need, and I believe that multispecialist clinics, specialist competition, disinterest in high places, and apathy of teachers will not destroy it. Ask people who have experienced care by a competent, conscientious family doctor what they want. The family doctor can give better medical care, with better patient rapport, and with more economy of time and money than any other system that has been devised. Many thousands of general practitioners today fulfill the requirement of the family doctor, but this is not adequately recognized.

What is needed are more family doctors to act as: (A) the family medical advisor and guide, (B) the primary diagnostician, and (C) the primary therapist. In these capacities he will

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