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September 1977

The General Internist: A Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(9):1277-1279. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630210135045

For the past 30 years, I have been closely associated with young physicians at various stages of their clinical education. It is from this experience that this overview of the role and education of the general internist takes form. As one would anticipate, these years have witnessed alterations in the career goals of many of these young people. In general, such goals are affected by the attitudes of one's seniors and peers and the practicalities of available opportunities.

In the recent past, a desire to enter research and academic medicine through the development of some special field of interest was dominant. There was a preoccupation with disease as such and the science of medicine as opposed to interest in the care of individual sick persons. Clinical teaching was a respected sideline, but it did not carry its own weight. Early commitment to research and a special field was the only

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