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One of the important questions for consideration by the discipline of internal medicine is how to plan and work well with the new publicly mandated departments of general or family practice. In years past, in office practices and in community hospitals, internists and the general practitioner were able to define comfortably for one another the character of their professional relationships. The general practitioner used the internist as his consultant and referred his more complex cases to the internists for evaluation and for care which very often was conducted in the hospital. Of course, the variations on this theme have been many, and there has been no one standard pattern.
Over time, two processes evolved which, in part, contributed to the recent emphasis emanating from legislative bodies upon the development of general and family practitioners. The first was that the number of general practitioners was rapidly declining throughout the nation, and
M.D.B.. Training the Internist and the General Practitioner. Arch Intern Med. 1972;130(6):965–966. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.03650060149027
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