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Annals of Internal Medicine: The First 50 Years

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to the Editorial Office, Annals of Internal Medicine, 4200 Pine St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(1):103-110. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-87-1-103
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Internal medicine is a specialty with a secure and major place in American medicine. In the 1920s that was not the case. Primary care of adults was dominated by the general practitioner. Surgery was the dominant specialty in hospitals. Indeed, in 1920 so uncertain were internists of where they stood in all of clinical medicine that Dr. Reynold Webb Wilcox, first President of the American College of Physicians, felt the need to define internal medicine in his address to the American Congress on Internal Medicine (1).

. . . What then is the domain of internal medicine? Shall we define


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