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The Place of the General Internist in Primary Care

Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(2):305-306. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-91-2-305
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By defining primary care in its recommendations on manpower for primary health care (1), the Institute of Medicine helped to raise the debates about primary care out of the semantic quagmire into which many of the adversaries were sinking. That definition ascribed to primary care four unique attributes: it is accessible, comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous. The definition seems to have general acceptance, and now the debate can shift away from the argument over what primary care is. Individuals and communities can be asked, "Are you getting primary care?" Practitioners can be asked, "Are you giving primary care?" Also, insurers can


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