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Problems Are for Solving

Walter C. Bornemeier, MD
JAMA. 1972;219(3):380-381. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190290066022.
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Among the problems that beset the medical profession, I shall consider the following:

  1. The number of doctors—in many areas, no doctor.

  2. The supply of family physicians—only 22% of doctors are generalists, mostly in older age groups.

  3. Maldistribution—even the rural rich and many affluent neighborhoods face scarcities.

  4. The hospital outpatient department as a primary care center at night and on weekends.

  5. The disproportion between specialty training programs, medical graduates, and community needs.

  6. Compensation of interns and residents.

What are the solutions and what is being done? Almost four years ago, the American Medical Association, recognizing that a 7,500 doctor gain per year was not enough, held a meeting with the officers of the Association of American Medical Colleges. From that meeting came a statement that medical school enrollment should be increased to the point where every qualified applicant could be admitted. At that time there


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