I am glad to see that others realize we are giving away our specialty [“Caring for Children: Re-examining the Family Physician’s Role,” July/August 2005]. When you don’t deliver babies, don’t do hospital rounds and don’t assist in your patients’ surgeries, you really aren’t doing any more than a physician assistant.
I am appalled at the laziness and apathy in our specialty. We can blame extrinsic factors (government regulations, insurance companies, malpractice claims, specialists or “limited practice” physicians) for the demise of family medicine, but in the end we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Your article failed to suggest an important thing family physicians can do to increase the number of children in their practices: learn another language. For many immigrant groups, birth rates are on the rise, and new parents are looking for physicians who understand both their language and culture. Learning Spanish and working with the Hispanic community in my town has kept my practice busy with newborns and young patients.