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July 20, 1963


JAMA. 1963;185(3):208. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060030066031

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There appear in this issue of The Journal several papers which were presented at the 59th Congress on Medical Education under the general heading, "Family Practice—An Impending Crisis." It is to be noted that none of the authors takes serious exception to the intent of this title, and, indeed, most of them directly support it. This apparent unanimity of opinion certainly does not represent a general consensus of professional belief.

Very few will dispute any longer the large and consistent decline in the numbers of general practitioners. However, it is not possible to go very much beyond this demonstrable reality without encountering opposing viewpoints. Most often the division of opinion relates to the nature of the physician's own career, with the general practitioner in opposition to the specialist.

Among specialists is found the belief that the decline in general practice is a natural and desirable consequence of the advance of

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