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October 23, 1981

Beating the Knowledge and Technology Explosion

JAMA. 1981;246(17):1924-1925. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320170036025

SINCE World War II, there has been a phenomenal growth in knowledge and technology. Our profession has shared in this growth,1-5 but with serious strain placed on all of us, from premedical students to expert physicians.

Several approaches to medical education would reduce the strain on physicians while preparing them to function with confidence in their expertise and with time to enjoy the fruits of their labors. I will not discuss noneducational solutions such as reduced paperwork, expanded roles for physician's assistants, and improved efficiency and validity of health-regulatory agencies.

Increasing Subspecialization  Godber6 has noted that increasing specialization and subdivision have been necessary to "cope with the rapid advance of biomedical science." He raises the issue of how far specialization should go to provide care the public can understand, consent to, and benefit from, but does not provide criteria for making the necessaryjudgments. He indirectly states that subdivision