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September 1977

What the General Internist Does: Report of Discussion Groups

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago. Dr Byyny is now at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(9):1289-1290. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630210145048

The following represent topics discussed in greatest detail or those with the most specific opinions. The topics do not necessarily relate to what the general internist does, but they often relate to what a general internist is.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE GENERAL INTERNIST?  One observer noted somewhat facetiously that the general internist could be defined as "an ever striving, never quite achieving, masochistic perfectionist." The general internist was described as follows. He is a highly trained, thorough, sophisticated, scientifically oriented physician, with broad medical experience, knowledge, and demonstrated ability to learn. He is an experienced problem solver trained to function as the principal physician for adult and adolescent patients. He assumes responsibility for a majority of his patients' clinical and nonclinical problems, exclusive of major surgery and obstetrics.In addition, he is capable of providing expert consultative assistance in internal medicine to family practitioners, surgeons, obstetricians, psychiatrists, neurologists, and

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