At the turn of the century, for every physician in practice there was one other professional health practitioner. Today the ratio is one physician to four1; two of these four are nurses. Fifty years ago there were 149 physicians and 89 nurses for every 100,000 persons in the United States. Today for 100,000 population there are 133 physicians and 268 professional nurses, aided by an almost equal number of nursing auxiliaries of various kinds.2 Such statistics—indicating as they do nursing's rapidly growing share of responsibility for modern health care—underscore the importance of certain actions taken in Atlantic City, June, 1959. The A. M. A. House of Delegates, through adoption of a report and resolutions, noted "a reactivated intent to establish an effective liaison with our nursing colleagues based on the best possible mutual understanding and respect."
That reactivation, implemented by the Board of Trustees' Committee for Liaison with
THE NURSE AND THE DOCTOR. JAMA. 1960;173(6):685-686. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020240073018