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September 16, 1961

The Growth and Development of Medical Group Practice

Author Affiliations

Washington, D.C.

From the Division of Public Health Methods, Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

JAMA. 1961;177(11):765-770. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040370001006

THE CHANGES which have occurred in the practice of medicine have been especially apparent since World War II. Because of the rapidly expanding fund of medical knowledge, patients have required increasingly highly specialized care. At the same time, the need for an integrated, holistic approach to the care of the individual patient has been widely recognized. One of the developments aimed at the solution of this problem has been the attempt to structure the skills of individual physicians, representing several fields of medicine, into a single organizational unit which can provide the integrated care needed. One expression of this effort is the highly structured medical staff of hospitals. Another, emphasizing ambulatory care, is medical group practice. This paper examines the development of group practice since 1946.

The first exploration of the field of group practice was done by the Bureau of Medical Economics of the AMA in 19331 followed

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