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February 5, 1921


JAMA. 1921;76(6):349-354. doi:10.1001/jama.1921.02630060001001

The present condition or status of the private medical practitioner is one which differs from that of a few years ago. By private practitioner is meant the family physician. It must be admitted that he does not occupy the same position that he formerly enjoyed. In no other field of medical practice may be found the intimate relations between physician and patient. The qualified and conscientious family physician assumes responsibility for the members of the family in illness and injury, and safeguards them against unnecessary or meddlesome medical or surgical treatment. He is the councilor and adviser in the various problems of life that confront all parents and their children. He occupies a unique position of the greatest importance in the field of medical practice—a position that brings him true friends who, with few exceptions, are glad to make equal sacrifice for him. No other position in life affords as