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To the Editor.—
Jeffrey E. Hoffman, MD, misses the point when he says that family physicians should be paid less than internists and pediatricians because they do not provide the "same services" (1982;247:462). The family physician's orientation is somewhat different from that of the internist or pediatrician, but his services are no less valuable to the patient. What he lacks in knowledge of unusual diseases is more than made up by specific education in behavioral medicine and family dynamics relevant to health care.For every "horror story" that one can tell about a family physician whose training was "too superficial," I can reply with a case where a physician in another specialty overlooked a serious patient problem because his focus was too narrow.
Gillette RD. Reimbursement of Physicians. JAMA. 1982;247(22):3081. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320470029017
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