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August 15, 2007

How to Run a Successful Academic Practice Plan

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Mount Sinai Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

JAMA. 2007;298(7):799-801. doi:10.1001/jama.298.7.799

Physicians are attracted to academic health science centers because of their interest in teaching and research. They derive income from the practice of medicine but typically struggle to find sources of remuneration to support their academic activities. A widely used mechanism for funding academic activities is the practice plan, a device that pools and then redistributes income, according to an agreement or contract. There are many approaches to practice plans, and the rules change as external forces come into play.1-5 We have managed a practice plan in a large academic department of medicine for more than 16 years. In this Commentary, we describe factors that have made it successful.