To the Editor: I believe that the answer to Dr. Petersdorf's question about “why being a generalist is the norm for 50 percent of the physicians in Canada and 70 percent of those in the United Kingdom” (Feb. 6 issue)* is twofold. First, the governments of both countries limit the number of specialty consultant positions, thus shunting more medical students into primary care positions. Second, both limit the financial rewards of specialists, so that in many instances primary care physicians earn higher incomes than consultants. I agree entirely with Dr. Petersdorf that American medicine needs to take action to limit… © 1992, Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.