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March 9, 1979

Family Medicine

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Ohio Toledo

JAMA. 1979;241(10):999. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290360015014

To the Editor.—  The challenges placed before family medicine by Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD (240:132, 1978), raise issues beyond those intended by the author. It is undoubtedly true that "every innovation in medical education must ultimately prove itself academically," since the medical schools largely control medical education, but this situation may be less than ideal from the standpoint of meeting the public's health care needs.Family medicine has much to gain by involvement in medical education: a rich heritage of information, teaching methods, and intellectual discipline; knowledge and skills from many medical specialties; and access to medical students interested in becoming family physicians. However, certain hazards must be recognized. One of these becomes apparent as we examine the first of Dr Pellegrino's challenges: "Does [family medicine] have a method and intellectual content not central to any other clinical discipline?" Much effort is being expended to develop an intellectual base for