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October 4, 1976

General Psychiatry as a Primary-Care Specialty

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Ohio Toledo

JAMA. 1976;236(14):1574. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270150012003

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To the Editor.—  The obstetrician-gynecologists have asserted (231:815, 1975) that they serve as primary physicians for a group of women who need routine gynecological care and lack family doctors. Now the psychiatrists (235:1973, 1976) say they fulfill the same function for people with psychological problems. Presumably, the neurosurgeons will soon come forth to tell us they are primary physicians for people with brain tumors, after which the endocrinologists will assert that they serve a similar role for people with Addison disease.It is essential to remember that the primary physician envisioned by the Millis Report and numerous subsequent publications is specially trained in and dedicated to providing comprehensive, holistic, continuing care. Perhaps the gynecologists and psychiatrists could revise their self-image and training programs to meet this ideal, but it's only fair to point out that family-centered care is a demanding discipline in itself, one that is not likely to be