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The Future of the General Internist

Solomon Papper, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(8):1601-1602. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350080123026.
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Personally, I would not rely on the accuracy of predictions for the future of any professional group, including the future of the general internist. I recall the conclusions drawn during the 1960s by experts serving on four distinguished national committees, who advised us that we needed more physicians and medical schools. These efforts culminated in federal legislation that gave monies to establish more schools and to educate more doctors. We are now told, by equally qualified forecasters, that we need fewer physicians and fewer medical schools. I also read the diverse economic predictions of outstanding economists. And I watch weather forecasts.

Although I will not make personal predictions, I shall relay with permission those of two outstanding national experts on the future of internists, Alvin R. Tarlov, MD, and Robert Moser, MD. Tarlov, perhaps the most involved internist in matters of medical manpower, generously shared with me a chapter on


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