JOHN F. BURNUM, M.D., F.A.C.P.
In response to the acute shortage of physicians in primary care, should practitioner internists be trained in shorter programs that stress community practice and become largely primary physicians? A study of one internist's practice concurs with opinion that the excessively busy internist is indeed a primary physician for many of his patients and that the practice of medicine has a special content and philosophy of patient care in which all internists should be versed. But he may also serve as a consultant and often treats patients with the most complex and demanding medical-school-type problems. Train primary physicians we must, whether in modified programs based in internal medicine or otherwise, but the education of the internist proper may well demand the full traditional university hospital experience plus additional training in the practice of medicine, the essential qualities of which have been partly identified in this study of a practice.
BURNUM JF. What One Internist Does in His Practice: Implications for the Internist's Disputed Role and Education. Ann Intern Med. ;78:437–444. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-78-3-437
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1973;78(3):437-444.
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