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ARTICLE |

Do We Still Need Doctors?

Fredrick R. Abrams, MD
JAMA. 1997;278(13):1123. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550130097050.
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ABSTRACT

This thoughtful book is a literate and troubled search for the lost soul of doctoring. It feels as though the author could not restrain himself from spilling onto paper what he had observed as the paradoxes and contradictions, the triumphs and tragedies, of the practice of healing.

Then, taking us on an evolutionary journey from the earliest practitioners through the current state of the healing art, he polishes and adorns his impressions with apt quotations from commentators, crossing centuries and interweaving disciplines.

He explores what doctors did, what they do, and what they ought to do, noting the shift in emphasis, as medicine became more likely to cure, from the healer and the patient to the technology itself. With the doctor adding technical expertise, along with the pharmacist, nurse, and the nutritionist, does the doctor become simply one more instrument in the orchestra? Who will conduct? Who is responsible? Who

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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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