Whither Family Medicine? Our Past, Future, and Enduring Scope of Practice

Fam Med. 2019 Jul;51(7):555-558. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2019.633317.


After 3 decades in private practice, I joined the faculty of a nearby residency program. Like most family medicine residencies, it follows a curriculum that my physician father would have recognized: heavy emphasis on inpatient medicine; short shrift to continuity care. Despite a changing marketplace, there is still a disconnect between how we train graduates (for full spectrum care) and where they end up (in ambulatory practices). Is our identity disappearing? I contend that the primary and indispensable duty of a residency program is to model professional values and prepare residents to live and work in sustainable communities. Though the scope of practice will vary, family physicians still pride themselves in putting the needs of their patients at its center.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum / standards
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Faculty, Medical / psychology*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Physicians, Family / standards
  • Scope of Practice*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires