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To the Editor.
—While I agree that there is a shortage of academic physicians in this country, I do not think it is as great as was indicated in the editorial of May 1974.The concept of a "critical mass" of faculty to provide stimulation in a given discipline is certainly true. However, whether every medical school needs a "critical mass" in every discipline is a different question. I trained in St. Louis University School of Medicine. In St. Louis, two medical schools function side by side and use the same hospitals for part of their training; yet, at least five years ago, they failed completely to manage any conjoint programs. Duplication of faculty running small subspecialty disciplines training three or four residents at a time is obviously wasteful.Medical schools, under the guidance of the American Medical Association, should work to strengthen some programs while reducing others to only
Donald J. Higby. Physician Shortage. Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(1):197. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330010199026