MANY DIRE PREDICTIONS are made about what is happening and what is going to happen to internal medicine. These predictions are stimulated by stresses which this specialty feels. Many young physicians are trained in internal medicine and make a career in some other field; this may be a subspecialty or something other than medical practice. When substantial numbers of trained internists diverge from the practice of internal medicine, a stress is produced, and we may be inclined to see this specialty threatened. The thesis to be presented is an optimistic one: that internal medicine will not only survive these and other stresses, but that it will thrive and continue to grow.
It would be appropriate to begin with a definition of internal medicine, but this is beyond my capacity. The American College of Physicians, the American Society of Internal Medicine, and many others had made efforts to develop an