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June 17, 1961

I. The Future of Family Practice: The Present Scene—Trends in Medical Practice

Author Affiliations

Skaneateles, N.Y.

From the Medical Advisory Board, Howard Hughes Institute. Dr. Weiskotten is former Chairman, Council on Medical Education and Hospitals, American Medical Association.

JAMA. 1961;176(11):895-897. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040240001001

AT THE OUTSET may I emphasize that the vast improvements in the over-all medical care of the American public in recent years have resulted from a trend toward specialization on the part of the physicians of this country. Without such specialization the development of much new knowledge and its application in the prevention and treatment of disease could not have materialized. A host of specialized preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures undreamed of 40 to 50 years ago have become commonplace. In the early period of the trend toward specialization there were few generally recognized programs for the training of specialists in the practice of medicine.

Practically all physicians on graduation from medical college, with or without a brief period of hospital training, entered upon the general practice of medicine—that is, became family physicians. As their practice developed, a number of these physicians developed a special interest in certain phases of

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