Urgent care fellowships as valid as other specialist training

LETTER — Posted July 10, 2006

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Regarding "Urgent care medicine eyes specialty status" (Article, June 12): You interviewed a physician -- chair of an emergency and urgent care group practice -- who noted, in the words of the article, "that most family and emergency medicine physicians are adequately trained to handle urgent care medicine." I can't help but wonder what someone like that physician would have said back in 1969 when the AAFP developed its certifying board. I'm sure that most GPs back then thought the same thing: "I don't think it's necessary."

Using that physician's line of reasoning, why should we bother with ER residencies? Just expand the number of family physician positions?

As a physician actively practicing urgent care medicine, I applaud the establishment of an urgent care fellowship. We're not just a bunch of "docs-in-the-box." What I do is every bit as valid as long-term management of chronic problems.

John White, MD, Jackson, Tenn.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/07/10/edlt0710.htm.

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