AUTHORS of many recent publications on medical care seem to agree that ideally every person should have a personal physician. However, wide differences of opinion are expressed about personal physicians from the standpoints of ( 1 ) the scope of their responsibilities, (2) their education, and (3) the systems of medical care that will facilitate their work. The objectives of this paper are to present my views, as chairman of a medical department, on these controversial areas and to describe some of the measures employed at the University of Rochester School of Medicine to improve the education of personal physicians.
Departments of medicine are targets for much of the criticism directed at medical schools for their failure to give adequate preparation to students and house officers for ultimate service as personal physicians. This alleged failure is a major subject of controversy between practitioners and full-time teachers of medicine in many localities, including Monroe County in the state of New