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September 13, 2000

Specialization and the Physician Workforce: Drivers and Determinants

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY.

JAMA. 2000;284(10):1299-1301. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1299

Specialization in medicine has been a virtually inexorable trend for many years. In the modern era it was heralded by the progressive separation from general practice of obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine and surgery, and the surgical subspecialties. These movements began shortly after the turn of the century. The first US specialty board, in ophthalmology, was established in 1917, followed shortly by a dozen other specialties, including the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1936 and the American Board of Surgery a year later. The American Board of Medical Specialties added its 24th member board, the American Board of Medical Genetics, in 1991.