MASON G. ROBERTSON, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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To the editor: To say there are "two essential functions" of the doctor (quote from Sir Macfarlane Burnet's Changing Patterns. An Atypical Autobiography, Ann Intern Med 74:289, 1971), namely outpatient and hospital patient care, fails to note the enormous complexities of a burgeoning list of functions we confront, with no end in sight. Let's face it. The historically evolved concept of the doctor is inadequate to the task of serving them all.
The doctor has become a data bank. Insurance companies and plaintiff lawyers and welfare and rehabilitation agencies now "buy" information about the patient. Time and energy spent in
ROBERTSON MG. Functions of the Doctor. Ann Intern Med. 1971;75:143–144. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-75-1-143_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1971;75(1):143-144.
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