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June 17, 1961


JAMA. 1961;176(11):942. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040240048014

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The medical profession today is caught in the unhappy dilemma of choosing between a personalized or a depersonalized type of practice; between the doctor as a clear image or as merely a shadow. This choice has been made necessary because of the rapid advances in diagnostic procedures, laboratory techniques, and other ancillary phases of medicine. No physician today can be knowledgeable about the entire field of medicine. But some doctors, recognized as general practitioners or family physicians, have made a creditable attempt to do so. It has been due to their efforts and their cooperation with the specialists that America has attained such a unique position in world medicine today.

Something, however, has gone amiss with this aspect of professional activity. Medical students are not turning to family practice as they should if the family physician is to continue. There has been a decline from about 69% of students in

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