Proceduralism would boost interest in the specialty


Fam Pract Manag. 2004 May;11(5):21-22.

To the Editor:

I was very interested in “Family Medicine Takes Center Stage” [November/December 2003, page 43], particularly in how “medical students ... put income at the top of the list of drawbacks for going into family medicine today.” This is certainly reasonable and partially why I initially chose anesthesiology as a specialty. I have since fallen in love with family medicine and would like to suggest how to boost student and professional interest in the specialty: emphasize procedures. The money is in procedures.

As primary care physicians, we should be thoroughly trained in screening procedures (e.g., colonoscopy, colposcopy, stress testing, mammography). After all, who better to do screening procedures than primary care doctors? Though this is theoretically possible where I train, I realize that the glut of specialists, along with reimbursement and privileging issues, would make this difficult. Perhaps family medicine residency programs could emphasize just one or two types of procedures. Then they could graduate competent family physician-colonoscopists or family physician-preventive cardiologists, like some of the more rural residency programs do.


Send your comments to fpmedit@aafp.org. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.


Copyright © 2004 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact fpmserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Mar-Apr 2018

Access the latest issue
of FPM journal

Read the Issue

FPM E-Newsletter

Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights."

Sign Up Now


Helping Your Adolescent and Young Adult Patients Get the Preventive Care and Services They Need

The Adolescent Health Consortium Project has clarified clinical preventive service recommendations for adolescents and young adults.

Making Sense of MACRA: Navigate Changes to the Quality Payment Program in 2018

Here's how to succeed in the four performance categories of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.