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October 1, 1982

Community-Oriented Primary Care

JAMA. 1982;248(13):1622-1625. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330130070031

COMMUNITY-ORIENTED care programs are a rational way to deliver the fruits of biomedical and behavioral scientific knowledge effectively to those who need them. No thoughtful person can argue with the logic of this approach. How can one believe that improvements in health can occur without thorough epidemiologic knowledge of health problems that exist in a community or a society? How can preventive, rehabilitative, or curative services be fully effective if one knows little or nothing about the cultural, educational, economic, or psychological factors that can create barriers to care, isolate groups, and increase personal health risks for community inhabitants? No one in modern society can believe that a physician working in isolation, and simply treating those who come to him on a one-on-one basis, can produce a healthy society.

If this is the case, why can I as an "outsider" ask the following questions:

  • Why hasn't community-oriented primary care (COPC)