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October 17, 1959


Author Affiliations

1714 N Street, N. W. Washington 6, D. C.

JAMA. 1959;171(7):1029-1030. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010250167021

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To the Editor:—  The internist is the only specialist in the realm of medicine who must continually attempt to define and/or describe the function of his specialty. This is true, as evidenced in the editorial by Dr. Paul S. Rhoads in the Archives of Internal Medicine, October, 1958, page 515, as well as in the editorial by Dr. Arthur L. Bloomfield in The Journal, April 4, 1959, page 1628. Further evidence that we are unable to define our own specialty is brought out by the brochure of the Society of Internal Medicine. We as internists are at the crossroads of survival as a specialty and as a distinct entity. The public does not need an explanation as to the function of a surgeon, an obstetrician, or an ophthalmologist; it knows the function of the general practitioner who has over the years justifiably enhanced his stature in the medical profession and

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