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January 15, 1982

Teaching Primary Care Medicine

JAMA. 1982;247(3):305. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320280027019

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To the Editor.—  The article by Verby et al entitled "Learning Forestry Out of the Lumberyard" (1981;246:645) provides valuable comments on the limitations of the traditional tertiary care institution base for medical education as well as the potential that exists in rural communities for excellent medical education.The article could have been further strengthened had Dr Verby and his colleagues chosen to accentuate the importance of having the most skilled clinicians be the teachers in the primary care field as is the case in any other field of medicine. Physicians who specialize in family practice or in primary care internal medicine and who have made this their special field of academic and clinical endeavor are the people who are most qualified to teach.To imply that students can learn only through "exposure" to primary care and through "specialty" visits seriously underrates the teaching skills and energies of family physicians and