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June 22, 1970

Medical Education in Prepaid Group Practice

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Community Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York.

JAMA. 1970;212(12):2101-2104. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170250057011

The health-care system faces a manpower crisis that is obviously beyond the simple need to educate a greater number of physicians. With the trend toward specialization, fewer and fewer young physicians are taking on the continuing medical care of people and their families as their career interest. Indeed, today's medical student who expresses such an interest is frequently discouraged by the faculty of his school. Much too often faculties tend to emphasize the production of clinical researchers, and professors, and overlook the challenge of preparing excellent practitioners of humane and compassionate medicine.

We contend that medical students should participate in health work in a defined population of families of all socioeconomic levels and in real-life situations over a long period of time. Today, whatever little exposure the medical student has with ambulatory patients usually takes place in the fragmented, discontinous, crisis-oriented ambience of the emergency room and the out-patient department.