During the last 50 years, great changes have occurred in the patterns of medical care in the United States. These changes have seriously affected physician geographic and specialty distribution and have escalated costs. New forces are developing that may have great effects on the actions of the health professions and the content of their educational programs. Orientation will change from cure to that of total health care and prevention. Today's emphasis seems directed toward comprehensive family health care, using the expertise of many new health professionals as members of a joint effort. The patient must become part of this health program by assuming an active role in the health maintenance of the individual and society. Such responsibility can be assumed by the patient only if health professionals provide access to information and knowledge.
(Arch Intern Med 136:721-724, 1976)