Table 3.

Major Challenges Facing Family Medicine

Generating an understanding of family practice.
Despite its 30-year history, neither the general public nor health care professionals understand all that family practice represents
Organizing individuality.
There is significant variance in practice scope from one family physician to the next. As a specialty, family medicine has deliberately resisted specific definition from the beginning
Winning respect in academic circles.
Family medicine suffers as a result of not having gained the respect and resultant endorsement of key academic institutions. Some medical schools feel that family medicine will bring neither money nor recognition to the school; as a result, they neither support the specialty nor encourage students to pursue it
Making family medicine an attractive career option.
Issues requiring attention include: inadequate remuneration, little recognition in the medical field, managed care challenges, quality of care yielding to pressures to increase the quantity of visits, and specialists thinking general internists are better diagnosticians than family physicians
Addressing the obsession with science and technology in the United States.
Family medicine is associated with neither; some people think family physicians are old-fashioned and cannot handle more critical health issues. There is a conspicuous absence of family medicine breakthrough research