Simply stated, the proposal is to “merge” the specialties of Family Practice, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, a euphemism for the dissolution of Peds and IM as unique, stand alone specialties.
Because the new discipline would provide continuous, comprehensive health care for an individual through his or her entire lifetime, it would naturally incorporate models and processes of care that integrate the known effects of genetic factors, health risks, lifestyle choices, prenatal and natal factors, and disease processes over a person's complete lifespan. From a professional perspective, additional efficiency and cost saving would also be gained by creating a single set of standards and mechanisms for initial board certification and continued maintenance of certification
So what’s this “new discipline” he’s describing? It’s Family Practice!
How will medical students making career choices react to this? They’ll think long and hard before entering a specialty that’s under consideration for dissolution in 20 years!
I issue this challenge to the American College of Physicians and the Society of General Internal Medicine: Tell us in no uncertain terms that you intend to support general Internal Medicine as a unique specialty for the long haul. If you can’t do that it’s time for us to form a new organization that will represent the highest traditions and professional interests of our specialty.