[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Special Communication
September 13, 2000

Growth of Specialization in Graduate Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Medical Education Products, American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill. Dr Hedrick is now retired.

JAMA. 2000;284(10):1284-1289. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1284

The growth of specialization in graduate medical education (GME) and physician practice continues at a rapid rate, generating increasing national attention. Although the major educational, accrediting, and certifying bodies have mechanisms for approving new areas of study and practice, the results of their efforts have not been consistently congruent. This article presents information about GME since the beginnings of its standardization and accreditation in the early 20th century, its growth during and following World War II, and the variations among accredited specialties and subspecialties, certificates, and self-designated practice areas that have resulted from this long period of unstructured growth.