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November 24, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(13):1240-1241. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970300040013

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"Everyone wants and should have a family doctor." "This is the age of specialization." "Generalists are our family doctors of the future." "Someday we'll have a doctor for every part of us." "You don't get the personal medical care you used to." "The internist is the general practitioner of today." "We must consider the patient as a whole." These statements and many others are from physicians, editors, and lay people. Their variety and very number demonstrate that something is afoot. True—and it is just this: The complexity of modern medicine demands specialists; yet each of us when ill wants a doctor who understands us and will "see us through," who will consider the social, economic, and emotional problems as well as the pain. We might like our family doctor to take care of our glioma, yet we know that a neurosurgeon can do it better. This dichotomy between family doctor

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