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January 1975

Physician Shortage

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(1):197. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330010199026

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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

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