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May 23, 1959


Author Affiliations

530 Winnetka Ave. Winnetka, Ill.

JAMA. 1959;170(4):493. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010040089025

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To the Editor:—  There seems to be increasing interest in defining, in a concise manner, the functions of an internist. Probably because internal medicine is such a broad field, it is easier for the public to think of an internist in terms of what other specialists are not. This leads to the confusing of internists with general practitioners and interns.In an effort to find a positive, concise definition of an internist, we are publishing in the Program of the 49th Annual Session of the American College of Physicians held in Chicago, April 20-24,1959, the following suggested definition: "An internist is a physician trained as a specialist in the diagnosis and medical treatment of internal diseases in the adult." We shall welcome criticisms, comments, and improvements on this definition.

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