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July 20, 1957


Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Kan.

Professor of Medicine, Chairman of Department, Director, Cardiovascular Laboratory, University of Kansas School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1957;164(12):1306-1309. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980120010003

• The responsibilities of physicians, whether they be generalists or internists, are identical In the evolution of medical care in the United States, the terms "family doctor," "general practitioner," and "internist" will all become synonymous. There is considerable feeling that a man finishing medical school with the present training program simply cannot have mastered the broad aspects of family medical care. There appear to be three approaches to the solution of this medical education problem. First, there is the increasing opportunity for continuation of formal education throughout the career of the physician. Second, there is the stimulus in the requirements for membership in the American Academy of General Practice. Lastly, there is the requirement of a twoyear residency in general practice, following the internship. All of these seem to be attempts to "patch" a system of education which is not accomplishing the fundamental obligation: to prepare a physician for his role as "the family doctor."