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April 14, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(15):1303-1305. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960500033009

• The type of practice taken up by graduates of American medical colleges was studied by a questionnaire method that yielded data from 21,110 respondents. Of these, 4,225 were graduated in 1945, and the extent to which they had specialized nine years after graduation has been compared with corresponding figures from other classes as far back as 1915.

The figures show that the services of specialists are becoming more readily available to the physicians and the public in the smaller communities. The proportion of physicians specializing in eye, ear, nose, and throat has decreased greatly and there has been some decrease in the proportion for public health and industrial medicine, but many of the specialties show little change over the years. Anesthesiology, pathology, and thoracic surgery show a definitely increased proportion of those specializing.

The proportion of medical school graduates who practice individually has decreased progressively. Of the 1945 graduates, 26.8% reported that they were occupying full-time salaried positions. Additional significant data relating to internships, residencies, and board certification were obtained.