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Working Together—That's Innovation!

Howard K. Rabinowitz, MD
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From Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Howard K. Rabinowitz, MD, Department of Family Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, 1015 Walnut Street, Suite 401 Philadelphia, PA 19107; e-mail, howard.rabinowitz@jefferson.edu.


Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(8):660-661. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-140-8-200404200-00016
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For the past 40 years, a major force driving primary care was the overall shortage of generalist physicians. Today, while primary care continues to face important challenges, we no longer have a consensus about the need for more generalists, except in rural and urban underserved areas. As a result, for the first time in recent history, the major focus of primary care leaders needs to shift from simply training more generalists to more clearly defining how primary care contributes to the health care system. Therefore, the 2 specialties that are the principal providers of care for adults in the United States (1), general internal medicine and family medicine, must focus on defining their added value to health care, both as individual and collective disciplines. In approaching this task, the 2 disciplines should ask whether their differences are important enough to justify taking separate paths.

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