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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1979 May; 29(202): 289-293, 295-296.
PMCID: PMC2159067

Family practice in the United States of America: the first 10 years


Family medicine was officially recognized as an independent discipline and as the twentieth specialty in the USA in 1969, when the American Board of Family Practice was established.

The main achievements of the first 10 years has been the establishment of departments of family practice in two thirds of the medical schools and the growth of graduate training has advanced rapidly from a total of 290 residents in 1970 to over 6,000 in 1978. Developments in group practice, team work, and medical records have been considerable and research is expanding.

In 1976, the 50-year trend of falling numbers of family physicians in the USA was reversed for the first time and excellent progress is also being made in countering the geographical maldistribution of physicians.

The challenges for the future of family practice are different from those in the past and are discussed.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Baker RM, McWhinney I, Brown TC. Undergraduate education in family medicine. J Fam Pract. 1977 Jul;5(1):37–46. [PubMed]
  • Beck JD, Stewart WL, Graham R, Stern TL. The effect of the organization and status of family practice undergraduate programs on residency selection. J Fam Pract. 1977 Apr;4(4):663–669. [PubMed]
  • Collins F, Roessler R. Intellectual and attitudinal characteristics of medical students selecting family practice. J Fam Pract. 1975 Dec;2(6):431–432. [PubMed]
  • Eimerl TS. Organized Curiosity: A Practical Approach to the Problem of Keeping Records for Research Purposes in General Practice. J Coll Gen Pract. 1960 May;3(2):246–252. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • Geyman JP. Family practice in evolution: progress, problems and projections. N Engl J Med. 1978 Mar 16;298(11):593–601. [PubMed]
  • Leaman TL, Geyman JP, Brown TC. Graduate education in family practice. J Fam Pract. 1977 Jul;5(1):47–61. [PubMed]
  • Longnecker DP, Wright JC, Gillen JC. Profile of full-time family practice educators. J Fam Pract. 1977 Jan;4(1):111–112. [PubMed]
  • McWhinney IR. General practice as an academic discipline. Reflections after a visit to the United States. Lancet. 1966 Feb 19;1(7434):419–423. [PubMed]
  • Marsland DW, Wood M, Mayo F. A data bank for patient care, curriculum, and research in family practice: 526,196 patient problems. J Fam Pract. 1976 Feb;3(1):25–28. [PubMed]
  • Pellegrino ED. The academic viability of family medicine. A triad of challenges. JAMA. 1978 Jul 14;240(2):132–135. [PubMed]
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