JOHN S. MILLIS In 1966 the Citizens Commission on Graduate Medical Education observed that the explosive growth in biomedical science and the consequent increase in medical skill and technology of the twentieth century had made it possible for physicians to respond to the episodes of illness of patients with an ever-increasing effectiveness, but that the increase in knowledge and technology had forced most physicians to concentrate upon a disease entity, an organ or organ system, or a particular mode of diagnosis or therapy. As a result there had been a growing lack of continuing and comprehensive patient care. The Commission expressed the opinion that "Now, in order to bring medicine's enhanced diagnostic and therapeutic powers fully to the benefit of society, it is necessary to have many physicians who can put medicine together again. "! The Commission proceeded to recommend the education and training of sub stantial numbers of Primary Physicians who would, by assuming primary responsi bility for the patient's welfare in sickness and in health, provide continuing and comprehensive health care to the citizens of the United States. In 1978 it is clear that the recommendation has been accepted by the public, the medical profession, and medical education. There has been a vigorous response in the development of family medicine and in the fields of internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics. One is particularly impressed by the wide acceptance on the part of medical students of the concept of the primary physician. Dr. John S.
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Robert B. Taylor, M.D.
Robert B. Taylor, M.D. is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine in Portland, Oregon. A board-certified family physician, Dr. Taylor is a 1961 graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine. He trained in the United States Public Health Service Hospital at Norfolk, Virginia, and was in private family practice in New Paltz, New York for fourteen years. In 1978 he joined the faculty of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1984, Dr. Taylor moved to Oregon, where he served as Chairman of the Family Medicine Department of the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine until 1998 He is the author and editor of 25 medical books including Family Medicine: Principles And Practice (6 editions), White Coat Tales: Medicine's Heroes, Heritage And Misadventures, Medical Wisdom And Doctoring: The Art Of 21st Century Medicine, Essential Medical Facts Every Clinician Should Know, and Diagnostic Principles and Applications. Dr. Taylor, who currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA, and his wife, Anita, have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Family medicine is the broadest of the generalist disciplines. Physicians who practice this specialty need access to up-to-date information on a broad range of disorders. They practice in a setting that emphasizes health promotion and preventive care while at the same time attempting to meet most of the short-term and long-term needs of a population that varies widely in age. The task of writing a comprehensive reference for this diverse field is challenging, to say the least. The fifth edition of Family Medicine: Principles and Practice is now available to serve the need for such a textbook. The editors of Family Medicine have identified two important emerging themes in family practice: managed care and the need to base the management of disease on published scientific evidence.
The goal of this book is to cover 90 percent of the problems seen by a generalist in daily practice. To accomplish this task, the editors assembled a large group of contributing authors. Each chapter has at least one family physician as a coauthor. Several new chapters have been added: "Population-Based Health Care," "Health Promotion," "Genetic Disorders," "Behavioral Problems of Children," "Somatoform Disorders," "Clinical Guidelines," and "Managed Care." All chapters have been updated with current medical evidence related to diagnosis and management.
Given the difficult task of covering such a broad field, Family Medicine does a creditable job. The chapters are succinct and well illustrated. Inevitably, changes in management have occurred since the publication date. The illustrations in the section on dermatology suffer from a lack of color and should perhaps have been omitted. Most family physicians will find this textbook helpful for ready reference. It will also be used by students and residents striving to increase their scientific knowledge of the field. It remains to be seen whether newer methods of information technology will take over the function this book ably serves. For the present, books still have a useful role as reference tools for practicing family physicians.
Reviewed by David N. Little, M.D.
Copyright © 1998 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.
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Book Description Springer. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0387903038I5N00