• The need for family physicians and general practitioners is felt especially in rural areas. The medical curriculum of recent years has not fully equipped the young graduate to meet the obligations of a family physician in a small town.
Recognition of this deficiency has led to various plans, one of which is described here. It involves setting up a division of general practice within the department of preventive medicine, a department that by tradition runs diagonally across the highly compartmented medical curriculum. The student is introduced to his first family in his second year. After some experience he selects, before his last year, the family that will be under his care until he graduates. Supervision of patient care in this program is provided by practicing family physicians, and the only full-time member of the staff is the director of the section on general practice.
The working of the program is illustrated by a case history that emphasizes the advantages of total family care, the continuity of doctor-patient relationship, and the attitude of the family doctor toward his patients and his profession.
Rittelmeyer LF. TEACHING THE FAMILY PHYSICIAN'S APPROACH, AS BUILT AROUND GENERAL PRACTITIONERS. JAMA. 1956;161(8):705–707. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970080035011
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