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 (now 48) 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."
Classics in Family Medicine Articles -- Current listing of the most classic and memorable works relating to the history and development of the specialty of Family Medicine.
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