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October 1974

Primary Care and Departments of Internal Medicine: Report of a Meeting

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(4):771-773. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320220173028

Early in November 1973, the Association of Professors of Medicine met to discuss a topic of critical importance to the future of health care in the United States—the impact of primary care on departments of medicine.

The topic could be cryptic because everyone there knew the genesis of the problem. After two centuries of evolution of medical teaching in this country, the department of medicine remains the pivotal, yet the most taken-for-granted element in the structure and function of the medical school. Consistently the largest department in terms of faculty size and man-hours of instruction, it has through the years held responsibility for developing in each student the basic professional skills and attitudes that are required for success in all branches of medicine. The identification of a majority of students with faculty mentors from this department has been a natural consequence, and in recent years, the internships most widely sought

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