WALLACE V. EPSTEIN, M.D.; CURTIS J. HENKE, M.A.
To the editor: In their introductory overview of the practice of internal medicine, Girard and colleagues (1) have made a notable contribution by adding to our woefully small data base on the realities of practice. While the quality of the data and their analysis will become clearer as the individual subspecialties are presented, at least one sampling problem warrants consideration.
The population of self-designated subspecialists in Girard and associates' study is based on the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Masterfile of physicians for 1976, "the only nationwide source of continuously updated information about physicians" (1). Their Table 1 indicates that
EPSTEIN WV, HENKE CJ. Study of Internal Medicine. Ann Intern Med. ;91:649–650. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-91-4-649
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(4):649-650.
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