The Internist as Consultant

Richard A. Deyo, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(1):137-138. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330130139046.
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To the Editor.  —The roles of the general internist have been the subject of much recent discussion and debate. One of his current roles, and one that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, is that of consultant to other specialties. While it is argued by some1.2 that the medical consultant of the future will be the subspecialist, Aloia3 points out that this may result in fragmentation of consultative efforts similar to that often encountered in primary care; that especially in rural areas the consultative role of the primary internist may be essential; and that if reduction in the training of subspecialists occurs, as advocated by many, sheer numbers may dictate a consultative role for the generalist. Clearly general internists do, in fact, serve as consultants,4.5 often in the specific setting of providing preoperative evaluation.4 Accordingly, several training programs have formalized this function into a


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