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December 1976

Primary Pulmonary?

Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(12):1354-1355. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630120006004

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The pursuit of primary care is assuming olympic proportions. As yet, few physicians are willing to say who should or should not claim this prize, even though most will agree that the word "primary" requires the ability and the time to continue the care of our patients. Practitioners of all sorts, from internists to gynecologists, do provide the primary source of care for at least some of their patients, and in the larger metropolitan areas, it is not unusual to find individuals with well-defined illnesses seeking all of their care from a single, albeit secondary or tertiary practitioner. Since many of these physicians are equipped with knowledge and experience not available to most, it is not unreasonable to expect that, numbers and transportation permitting, patients will continue to gravitate to the single-organ specialist.

In this year of the swine vaccine, it is estimated that 85,000 people will die from lung

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