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January 1987

Federally Supported Primary Care Training Programs and Pediatric Careers

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pediatric Education, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, New York (Drs Shelov, Rayman, and Fallon); Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston City Hospital (Dr Alpert); Department of Pediatrics, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore (Dr Straus); and New York City Health and Hospital Corp, New York (Dr Boufford).

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(1):65-66. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460010065025

Since the mid-1970s, the federal government has supported residencies in general pediatrics, family practice, and general internal medicine, under Title VII of the Public Health Services Act. The need for continued targeted federal support for primary care has been questioned by those who predict that a physician surplus will produce the needed number of primary care providers without special programs. At a time of federal deficits and budget cutting, funding for all graduate medical education is under review, but primary care programs are especially vulnerable since these programs do not automatically command a large academic or political constituency. Before deciding to abandon targeted programs, it seemed reasonable to examine whether they had achieved the stated government goals. For example, the original Public Health Service legislation encouraged the production of generalists, as opposed to specialists. Representatives of family practice and general internal medicine have reported that graduates in these specialties have