Fam Pract Manag. 2001 Nov-Dec;8(10):13.
Practice what they teach?
To the Editor:
I am in my third year of family medicine residency, and I too have concerns about the future of family medicine. I have talked with numerous family physicians who have had difficulty obtaining privileges for procedures ranging from deliveries to stress EKGs. I have also seen billboards that say, “Give your baby every chance at life, always see a specialist” posted by an OB/GYN group in a city where family physicians do most of the deliveries.
I chose family practice to learn and do everything family practice has to offer. However, few programs exist that actually train residents to perform the full spectrum of family medicine. Thus, there is a general misconception about family practice – that it’s a specialty of doctors overextending themselves beyond their training.
Most of my colleagues who didn’t consider family medicine favored internal medicine for the pathways it provides to subspecialization. I have felt for some time that family practice should offer pathways to subspecialization in emergency medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, obstetrics, etc. By creating such pathways, more medical students will be drawn to family medicine, programs will become stronger, and the specialty as a whole will benefit.
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