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Topics in Family Practice

Lawrence L. Hirsch, MD
JAMA. 1977;237(4):387-388. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270310073016.
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It is almost a decade since family practice has been recognized and legitimized by the profession, and predictably, there is much confusion as to what this "new specialty" is. A unique postulate of this movement is the mandatory continuing medical education. As a result, there has emerged a plethora of material attempting to define, describe, interpret, or specify the discipline. Most unfortunately, much of the material has been produced by those either least sympathetic to the objectives of the family physicians or most unaware of their needs.

Topics in Family Practice is an example of apparently well-intentioned but misguided effort. The presentations cover an array of topics in medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, and surgery. Although the average length of the 41 articles is eight to ten pages, the shortest, "Practical Psychopharmacology of Antipsychotic Drugs," is a bare 1 1/4 pages. The longest, "Surgical Hypertension in Family


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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