Clinical Data Base: The Scope of Family Medicine

  • William L. Stewart


It is difficult, at best, to define the scope of a specialty with flexible borders. The medical profession is used to, and is comfortable with, the relatively narrowly circumscribed borders of the subspecialties in medicine. Most neurosurgeons, for example, perform the same types of surgical procedures and have sharply demarcated boundaries beyond which they seldom stray. The opposite is true of family practice. One family physician may exclude obstetrics from his practice, while another enjoys a relatively large obstetrical practice, to cite one example. It is precisely these practice differences that have lead to confusion on the part of many of our medical colleagues as to the exclusive domain of medical knowledge to which family medicine lays claim. Because of these differences in practice, it is necessary to define the essence of this specialty, without which there would be no uniqueness.


Family Medicine Family Physician Behavioral Science Family Practice Routine Physical Examination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • William L. Stewart

There are no affiliations available

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