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November 17, 1969

Physicians and the Governance of Hospitals

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and the Hutzel Hospital, Detroit.

JAMA. 1969;210(7):1263-1265. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160330063012

In the last two decades the community hospital has assumed an increasingly dominant role as this country's health care patterns have evolved. Because of the implications this development has for the future of medical practice, it is of interest to examine the attitudes and relationships of those responsible for the hospital's decision-making process. Many physicians question why they do not wield more influence in the institution which, to a large extent, is dependent upon their professional activities. The answer is found in the community's attitude toward the hospital as an element of its social structure. Since the hospital is supported in one way or another by community funds, it is expected to accept responsibility for a portion of the medical care needs of the entire community, needs not necessarily limited to the population group represented by its staff physicians' private patients. The community's interests are entrusted to a board which