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Primary Care Is an End in Itself

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(9):848-849. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140230018002.
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Sir.—Two recent editorials prompt me to voice my opinion concerning the status of pediatrics. I am disturbed by the comments of my close friend and colleague, Dr Helfer,1 that appeared in AJDC under the title "Primary Care: Does It Belong in Pediatrics?" Dr Helfer's article concerned me, but a second editorial, 2 also by a close friend and colleague, convinced me to write in rebuttal.

Dr Helfer1 argues that "the time may have come for pediatricians to stop apologizing for delivering primary care and see it as it is, ie, a means to an end, a way to make a living... (and not too bad or unenjoyable a living at that)." If I understand Dr Helfer correctly, he believes that primary care should be seen as (1) a way by which pediatricians make a good and enjoyable living and (2) a means by which practice can be


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