RICHARD J. REITEMEIER, M.D.; RICHARD W. VILTER, M.D.; MONTE MALACH, M.D.; JOSEPH E. JOHNSON III, M.D.
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To the editor: The paper by Mendenhall and associates titled "A National Study of Internal Medicine and Its Specialties: Primary Care in Internal Medicine" (Ann Intern Med 1979;91:275-87) classifies care encounters into first, episodic, principal, specialized (or limited), and consultative. This is a valuable and carefully performed study which provides much real and valuable data for the examination of manpower issues. The categories of care, however, raise problems since they are not separately or in combination precisely congruent with existing definitions of primary care.
In their study "principal care" may be equated with the more widely accepted term primary care.
REITEMEIER RJ, VILTER RW, MALACH M, et al. Classification of Patient Care. Ann Intern Med. 1979;91:924–925. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-91-6-924
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(6):924-925.
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