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May 25, 1998

Accepting Limits

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(10):1059-1061. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.10.1059

GENERALIST AND specialist physicians are under increasing economic pressures to stretch their capabilities. Many managed care organizations believe generalist physicians can provide more efficient and less costly medical care than specialist physicians. As these physicians manage the treatment of patients with more complex diseases and perform more procedures, it will be especially important for them to understand the limits of their knowledge and skills. Conversely, as specialist physicians see fewer patients, they may feel financial pressure to practice more primary care medicine—a type of medicine they do not commonly practice. The question arises: How do medical educators encourage physicians to recognize and accept their limits?