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The General Internist

Byron K. Cole, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(2):318. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320140156020.
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To the Editor.  —The editorial of John Moyer, MD, that appeared in the October 1973 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, "The General Internist as a Specialist," was quite interesting, though I cannot agree with his recommendations. I do agree that hospitals should have hospital-based internists performing the functions mentioned by Dr. Moyer. However, it is not clear what role in the hospital he visualizes for the primary physician. If the role excludes the primary physician from attending hospitalized patients, I could not disagree more. The primary physician should be able to attend patients in the hospital at his level of sophistication. A patient entering the hospital, especially for the first time, encounters a strange and often frightening environment. The physician who attends him in an ambulatory setting is a comforting person.Primary care is more a concept than one single specialty. It is the willingness to accept the first


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