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September 1977

The General InternistA Potential Solution to the Health Care Provision Problem?

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(9):1274-1276. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630210132044

Our objective in this special issue on the general internist will be to define the general internist's role in the academic and community environment and to place his function in perspective relative to other health care professionals. The relevance of this issue is reflected in the current ferment being generated to offer the general internist as a potential solution for the inadequacies of our existing health care system. If he is to have an important role, we must review those factors that are responsible for creating the existing health care dilemma.

An analysis of our present system demonstrates a frustratingly painful disparity between the capabilities of medical care and its availability. We have experienced an exponential growth in our medical knowledge over the past four decades but have allowed the organizational structure that is responsible for translating these advances into deliverable services to remain in a "horse-and-buggy" stage. The primary

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