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The Canadian general internist: education and future role.

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


Available manpower data indicate that for the forseeable future there will be a continuing requirement in Canada for specialists in general internal medicine. While these specialists will be located predominantly in community hospitals, they will also be needed in university medical centres. The major roles of the general internist will be (a) to provide consultative service to primary care physicians and to other specialists, (b) to provide continuing care to patients with complex serious illness and (c) to participate in intensive care, particularly in community hospitals. Therefore training programs in this specialty must provide adequate experience in consultative medicine in both university and community hospitals, an opportunity to follow up patients with chronic serious illness over long periods, and experience in a variety of intensive care settings including surgical intensive care units. In some university departments the organization and supervision of training programs in this discipline have been carried out by a division of internal medicine that has equal status with other specialty divisions within the department. This seems to have been a salutory development.

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