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Am Fam Physician. 2000;62(1):20

This feature is part of a year-long series of excerpts and special commentaries celebrating AFP's 50th year of publication. Excerpts from the two 1950 volumes of GP, AFP's predecessor, appear along with highlights of 50 years of family medicine.

This feature, titled “Report on Internships and Residency Training for General Practice,” is excerpted from the June 1950 issue of GP and was prepared by the 1949 Committee on Education* of the American Academy of General Practice. The accompanying commentary is written by Lynn P. Carmichael, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, University of Miami, Miami Beach, Fla.


At the first meeting of the American Academy of General Practice in June, 1947, the following recommendations were adopted:

  1. That all hospitals having internships, facilities, and training programs provide special training for doctors planning to do general practice.

    That the first year rotating internship be continued.

    That a second year internship or residency be arranged to provide the following subjects or their equivalent:

    Three months General Surgery and Fractures.

    Three months Medicine including one month Contagious Diseases.

    Three months Obstetrics and Pediatrics.

    Three months elective of any of the following: Clinical Psychiatry, Gynecology, Laboratory, X-Ray, E. N. T., Urology

    That the second year be recognized as a residency in General Practice and that a suitable certificate be presented to the trainee for satisfactory completion of such training.

  2. That a General Practice Section be instituted in the medical school curriculum and general practitioners of recognized ability be privileged to present the above subjects to the students.

*— Members of the 1949 Committee on Education were: Lester D. Bibler, M.D., Chairman, Indianapolis, Indiana; M.B. Casebolt, M.D., Kansas City, Missouri; Richard A. Mills, M.D., Fort Lauderdale, Florida; James L. Hamner, M.D., Mannboro, Virginia; Adrian H. Scolten, M.D., Portland, Maine; Ralph Rutledge, M.D., Alliance, Ohio; C.E. McArthur, M.D., Olympia, Washington; David Dozier, M.D., Sacramento, California; Charles E. Nyberg, Kansas City, Missouri, Executive Assistant.


In June 1950, the American Academy of General Practice published a “Report on Internship and Residency Training for General Practice” in volume 1, number 3, of GP, which was later to become American Family Physician.

At that time, there were 94 residencies at 32 different hospitals. There was a gradual increase in enrollment throughout the 1950s, but the trainees often entered practice after the first year. This may have been an effect of the “doctor draft” that was then in existence.

General practice lacked a “medical board specialty.” This lack was remedied in 1967 by the American Medical Association's Council on Medical Education, which established a Committee of Family Practice. Dr. Leland Blanchard and I became part-time secretaries to the committee that developed the “Essentials for Family Practice,” and Lee and I toured the country to identify a critical number of at least 20 training programs across the United States. In 1969, the American Board of Medical Specialties recognized the American Board of Family Practice (ABFP), and the first board examination was given across the country. Dr. Nickolas Pisacano was a driving force in the development of the ABFP.

This long road led to the recognition of family practice and its organizations by the medical professions. General medical practice has long been favored by our patients. The medical profession and its organizations have finally a acknowledged the role and importance of family medicine and its practitioners.—Lynn P. Carmichael, M.D.

Dr. Carmichael was the first editor of Family Medicine. He has been awarded the AAFP Thomas Johnson Award and the Pew Foundation Primary Care Achievement Award in Education. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

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