AAFP Foundation

Classics in Family Medicine

Beginning in 2004, the Center for the History of Family Medicine’s governing board, the Board of Curators, conceived the idea for a project to compile a collection of the most important/classic/memorable works relating to the history and development of the specialty of Family Medicine. Originally conceived as a book tentatively entitled “The Anthology of Family Medicine,” the project has now evolved into a unique Web-based resource, which in turn mirrors the wider transformation of information sharing and technology that has revolutionized not only Family Medicine, but our society as a whole.

After extensive research and review, the Board approved a list of 44 of the most important articles that have been written on Family Medicine throughout the history of the specialty. These works– all classics in and of themselves– are compiled here into a single online bibliographic resource for the researcher. Wherever possible, PDF versions of the articles cited below have also been provided.

One final note: this is an ever expanding and evolving project. If researchers have suggestions for other articles they feel should be included in this bibliography, please contact CHFM staff at chfm@aafp.org.

Introduction by Jeffrey Susman, MD

"The Intellectual Basis of Family Practice, the Willard Report, Keystone 3: the foundation of our discipline.  How to choose those few most influential, intriguing and insightful writings among such an embarrassment of riches?  What a pleasurable challenge, to reread and remember the story of our specialty.  From our undifferentiated generalist roots to the rise as a distinct discipline with coherent core competencies and vision; from counterculture to mainstream; from introspective to extravagantly grand; our vision of Family Medicine has never been bolder.  Yet, as we move from the Future of Family Medicine, to the New Model, to the Patient-Centered Medical Home we can be assured of one thing: Family Medicine will continue to evolve and reflect the diversity, creativity and nimbleness of our forebears.  Join us then on this journey through history.  And as you read these wonderful writings, let us know your suggestions for other worthy additions to our historical record."

American Medical Association. Ad Hoc Committee on Education for Family Practice. Council on Medical Education. Meeting the Challenge of Family Practice. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1966. (Also known as the “Willard Report”).

Barnett, Lewis. "Carving an Undergraduate Curriculum in Family Practice" (in Archives of Family Practice 1980) [Originally published in J Fam Pract 1:3/4:20-22, Nov/Dec 1974]. (3-page PDF file)
Bodenheimer, T.; Wagner, E.H.; Grumbach, K. “Improving primary care for patients with chronic illness.” JAMA 2002 1775:35.

Citizens Commission on Graduate Medical Education. The Graduate Education of Physicians. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1966. (Also known as the "Millis Report"). (65-page PDF file)
Clendening, Logan. "Has the Specialist Failed?" Outlook and Independent, July 10, 1929, pp. 409-411, 438.

Colwill, JM. "Where have all the Primary Care Applicants Gone?" NEJM 1992 Feb 6;326(6):387-93. (7-page PDF file)
Curry, Hiram B. "Phoenix in Flight - All Systems Go!" (in Archives of Family Practice 1980) [Originally published in JAMA 1972 Nov;222:7:821-826].

Curtis, Peter and John Rogers. "Continuity of Care in a Family Practice Residency Program" (in Archives of Family Practice 1981) [Originally published in J Fam Pract 8(5):975-980, 1979]. (6-page PDF file)
Darley, Ward. "The Family Physician of the Future: Fact or Fiction?" (in Archives of Family Practice 1980) [Originally published in J Med Educ 1961;36:142-149].

Dietrich, A.J.; Goldberg, H. "Preventive Content of Adult Primary Care: Do Generalists and Subspecialists Differ?" Am J Public Health 1984 223. (5-page PDF file)

Green, Larry A. et al. "The Ecology of Medical Care Revisited." NEJM 2001 June 28; 344(26): 2021-5.

Institute of Medicine. Primary Care. America’s Health in a New Era. Ed. by Donaldson, M.S., Yordy, K.D., Lohr, K.N., Vanselow, N.A. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1996.

Leaman, Thomas L. et al. "Graduate Education in Family Practice" (in Archives of Family Practice 1981) [Originally published in J Fam Pract 5(1):47-61, 1977]. (15-page PDF file)
McWhinney, Ian R. "General Practice as an Academic Discipline" (in Archives of Family Practice 1980) [Originally published in Lancet 1966 Feb;419-423].

McWhinney, I.R. “Why we need a new clinical method.” In: Stewart, M; Brown, J.B.; Weston, W.W., et al., eds. Patient-centered Medicine: Transforming the Clinical Method. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications; 1995:1-18.

Peabody, Francis W. "The Care of the Patient." JAMA, March 19, 1927, pp.877-882.

Peabody, Francis W. "The Public and the General Practitioner." (in Doctor and Patient: Papers on the Relationship of the Physician to Men and Institutions. New York: Macmillan, 1930).

Pellegrino, Edmund D. "The Academic Viability of Family Medicine: A Triad of Challenges" (in Archives of Family Practice 1980) [Originally published in JAMA 1978 July;240:2:132-135].

Phillips, Ted J., et al. "Family Physician Pathway and Medical Student Career Choice" (in Archives of Family Practice 1980) [Originally published in JAMA 1978 Oct;240:16:1736-1741].

Pickles, W.N. “Epidemiology in the Yorkshire Dales.” Practitioner 1955 Jan;174(1039): 76-87.

Rabinowitz, HK. "A program to recruit and educate medical students to practice family medicine in underserved areas." JAMA 1983;249:1038-1041.
Rabinowitz, HK; Diamond, JJ; Markham, FW; Hazelwood, CE. "A program to increase the number of family physicians in rural and underserved areas: impact after 22 years." JAMA 1999;281:255-260.
Safran, D.G. “Defining primary care: What can we learn from patients?” Ann Intern Med 2003 248:43.

Saultz, J.W.; Lochner, J. "Interpersonal Continuity of Care and Care Outcomes: A Critical Review." Ann Fam Med March 2005 159:295. (8-page PDF file)
Starfield, B.; Shi, L.; Grover, A.; Macinko, J.; “The effects of specialist supply on populations’ health: Assessing the evidence.” Health Aff 2005 97: 284.

Starfield, B.F.; Shi, L.F.; Macinko, J. “Contribution of primary care to health systems and health.” Milbank Quarterly 2005 457:3.

Stephens, G. Gayle. "Family Medicine as Counterculture." Fam Med 1989; 21:103-9. (7-page PDF file)
Willard, William R. and C.H. William Ruhe. "The Challenge of Family Practice Reconsidered" (in Archives of Family Practice 1980) [Originally published in JAMA 1978 Aug;240:5:454-458]
Classics in Family Medicine

Barnett Carving an Undergraduate Curriculum in Family Practice (*PDF file)

Bland Developing an Objective Based Curriculum for a Family Practice Residency (*PDF file)

Citizens Commission Graduate Education (*PDF file)

Colwill Where Have All the Primary Applicants Gone? (*PDF file)

Curtis Continuity of Care in a Family Practice Residency Program (*PDF file)

Dietrich Preventive Content (*PDF file)

Frame Critical Review (*PDF file)

Geyman FP in Evolution (*PDF file)

Geyman Graduate Education in Family Practice (*PDF file)

Geyman A Network Model for Decentralized Family Practice Residency Training (*PDF file)

Geyman Research in the Family Practice Residency Program (*PDF file)

Green A Family Medicine Information System The Beginning of a Network for Practicing and Resident Family Physicians (*PDF file)

Heath Medical Generalists (*PDF file)

Leaman Graduate Education in Family Practice (*PDF file)

Leaman Undergraduate Education in Family Medicine: A Ten Year Perspective (*PDF file)

Lynch Obstetrics in Family Practice: A Model for Residency Training (*PDF file)

Martin Future of FM (*PDF file)

McWhinney Family Medicine as a Science (*PDF file)

McWhinney FM in Perspective (*PDF file)

Saultz Interpersonal Continuity (*PDF file)

Scherger A Medical Student's Perspective on Preceptors in Family Practice (*PDF file)

Smith Early Ambulatory Experience in the Undergraduate Education of Family Physicians (*PDF file)

Stange Illuminating (*PDF file)

Stephens FM as Counterculture (*PDF file)

Stephens Intellectual Basis (*PDF file)

Stern The Residency Assistance Program in Family Practice (*PDF file)

White Ecology of Medical Care (*PDF file)

Wilson Specialist in FP (*PDF file)

(*PDF file. About PDFs)

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