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Primary Care and the Practice of Medicine

Richard W. Dodd, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(12):1736. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630240068022.
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The many facets of "primary care" are well explored in this easily read primer, which is edited by Dr Noble. Contributors, who write from experience, include family physicians, internists, educators, institutional directors, nurses, and planners. Four appropriate sections address first, the patient and primary physician, second, types of practice organization, third institutional interrelationships, and fourth, community resources. Chapter subdivisions are insightful and most provocative, especially since a fatiguing compendium is not attempted.

Patient and physician expectations, needs, and outcome criteria are discussed, and the question of who has what responsibility is addressed. How the patient relates to family and community, is well-illustrated. The traditional practice, its structure, extended practices, and cost effectiveness are discussed. The questions of who is the primary physician in the hospital, and how physician-consultant relationships can be improved are answered. Traditional modes of continuing education are rightfully questioned, and positive suggestions are given toward improved practice


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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