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One of the virtues of this approach is that it can have a direct effect not only on the well-being of our patients, but ultimately on world population growth. Simply by eliminating all unintended pregnancies we could achieve a dramatic reduction in the overall birth rate, a reduction which if replicated world wide could have a marked impact on the rate of population rise. Even though much of the problem lies outside the industrialized world, the United States has a disproportionate effect on the policies of other countries. For example, our country has led the way in recent years in defining the role and function of general and family practitioners, and much of the growth of family medicine around the globe can be attributed to the fact that the United States at long last decided that it is a cornerstone of primary care. If our discipline makes family planning a clinical and research priority, practitioners and academics in other countries will follow.