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April 14, 1989

The Task of Medicine: Dialogue at Wickenburg

JAMA. 1989;261(14):2133-2134. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420140135043

This book is a summary by Dr Kerr L. White of a 4-day conference sponsored by the Kaiser Foundation at which the future of medicine and medical education was discussed in depth. The conference's "point of departure," actually its focus, was a monograph by Charles E. Odegaard, former president of the University of Washington, entitled DearDoctor.1 Additionally, the conference members were given "a series of commissioned papers and published reprints," many (all?) of which are included in the appendix to this book. There were 39 physicians and 6 nonphysicians in attendance. The large majority of physicians were academicians.

After reading this book and its appendixes carefully, it became obvious that to understand it fully, one needs first to read Dear Doctor. This I did, and it was worth the effort. From all of this reading I have arrived at a summary statement, to wit: the conference at Wickenburg