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June 17, 1961

II. Principles of a Program to Foster Family Practice: The Family Physician—Which Doctor?

Author Affiliations

Milan, Mich.

Past President, American Academy of General Practice.

JAMA. 1961;176(11):898-902. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040240004002

FIFTY YEARS ago no one ever asked which doctor was the family physician, because everyone knew it was the general practitioner. Twenty-five years ago the same answer was given, but with some reservations. Ten years ago the doubters were questioning openly, and today it is a matter of real concern not only to generalists, internists, and pediatricians, but to medical educators whose responsibility it is to provide adequate training for those who will assume this important function in American life during the next decade.

The House of Delegates of the American Medical Association has debated the problems of general practice for many sessions. The American Academy of General Practice is intensely interested. This Congress on Medical Education has discussed it. In fact, it was on the floor of this congress, just 4 years ago that Dr. Dana W. Atchley of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center quoted a framed statement which hangs