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Being a Family Doctor Can Be a Specialty, Too

April 25, 1993

Re "Practicing Their Beliefs" (April 14): As a family physician, it is refreshing to see that the true value of our specialty has begun to be recognized by the medical profession as well as the media.

However, the disheartening reality is that the public still has a very mistaken perception about family medicine. Most illnesses can be handled adequately by a competent family doctor. Yet many patients still insist on seeing a sub-specialist for every little ailment.

No effort from the government or the medical schools can improve the dwindling number of family physicians as long as people still demand a neurologist to treat their headache, an orthopedic surgeon to see their stubbed toes or a dermatologist to cure their flea bites.

DR. THUAN L.TRAN,

Claremont

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