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Policy Perspectives
February 11, 1998

American Medicine Is on the Right Track

Author Affiliations

From the Board of Governors, New York Academy of Sciences, New York, NY.

JAMA. 1998;279(6):426-428. doi:10.1001/jama.279.6.426

OF THOSE WHO practice the profession, there are few who do not decry the state of medicine. Not only are wrenching changes percolating through all aspects of medicine, but the changes also are diminishing physician autonomy and authority, threatening the educational structure, and forcing alliances that often seem to be pacts with the devil, disguised as the contract officer of a capitated, for-profit managed care company. How then can anyone claim that this is the proper path for the beleaguered profession to embark on? While it helps to have a bent toward contrariness, the characteristics that foster such a view are the ability to become detached from individual circumstances without losing the perspectives of a physician and the ability to look long term.