||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.