Doctors: Specializing in the Family

The American family doctor of tomorrow will be more highly skilled than his predecessors, have more responsibilities, and boast a higher status. He will, that is, if medical educators and today's family doctors themselves have anything to say about it — and in recent weeks they have been saying plenty.

The continuing talk reflects some embarrassing statistics. In 1931, no less than 84% of U.S. physicians called themselves general practitioners; today, their numbers have shrunk to 37% . Only 18% of this year's medical graduates expect to go into general practice....

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