Many thoughtful people are asking hard and anxious questions about the relation of family medicine and pediatrics. There are obvious overlaps in these two health professions. Will this lead to conflict, divisive territorial fights and competition for patients, or better health care for America's children? Only time will tell, but a few personal comments may be in order.
What Is Family Medicine?
It is a new name for a new breed of general practitioner, but the new breed aspect is important to understand. Family physicians will be so labeled by passing a board examination. They will be well trained (three years of post MD at least) and will be periodically reexamined (something no other board requires to date). They are medical specialists in the care of the family, doing little surgery and usually little or no obstetrics. They are primarily concerned with adult and child medical care, but their training