In this overview various aspects concerning internal medicine in the Netherlands are discussed. Special attention is given to training, which is likely to be increased from 5 to 6 years in the near future. Current problems in internal medicine are mostly related to under-funding of health care and include unemployment (which necessitates reduction of training facilities), disagreement with the government about finances and an argument with the sickness funds concerning professional responsibility and the termination of free enterprise. Also the issue of task definition of the general internist is reviewed. Funding of research used to be mainly the task of the government. Problems with the national economy, however, have resulted in a reduction of the governmental contribution. Private research foundations related to patients' associations, (pharmaceutical) companies and non-university hospitals have increased in importance.
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