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November 18, 1968

A General Medical Practice Using Nonphysician Personnel

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh (Dr. Rogers); the Community Health Center, St. Francis Hospital (Miss Mally); and the Northview Heights Health Care Demonstration Project of the Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (Dr. Marcus), Pittsburgh.

JAMA. 1968;206(8):1753-1757. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150080033006

A county medical society, responding to a request of low-income urban population for health care, obtained funds to subsidize a medical practice in its community. The practice was staffed by a physician, social worker, office nurse, public health nurse, technician, and secretary. Nonphysician personnel, under supervision, performed some services usually given by physicians, furnished half the patient care, and were well accepted by patients in these responsible roles. Use of nonphysician personnel increased effectiveness of the physician and expanded the scope of services beyond that usually provided in a general practice. Resources of a local hospital ultimately were integrated with the practice to provide comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services. The program constituted a practical way to deliver primary health care which was well accepted by patients, simple in organization, comprehensive in scope, and not costly.