This is a book about primary care medicine and its increasing importance in solving the health care problems of individuals and communities now and in the future. Because primary care is the capstone of twentieth-century medicine, it is also the foundation for twenty-first-century doctoring. After providing the history and background of primary care, this chapter suggests that primary care medicine will inevitably grow and flourish because the roots of its emergence reach deeply into medicine's history. If new systems treat physicians as the solution rather than the problem, rising morale will help spread new ideas. The success of new ideas that bring better patient outcomes, and the lower cost of this medicine, will gradually force change, cultivate teachers, and bring increasing numbers of students and physicians into the ranks of modern primary care medicine.
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