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December 23, 1974

The AMA, Accreditation, and the Number of Physicians

Author Affiliations

AMA Department of Undergraduate Medical Education

JAMA. 1974;230(12):1681-1682. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240120049023

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Too many people, including some journalists, seem willing to believe that the American Medical Association limits the output of medical schools. They observe a shortage of physicians, extreme competition to enter US medical schools, US citizens in foreign medical schools, and the immigration of foreign medical graduates, and then declare that the AMA uses accreditation to restrict the output of US medical schools.

Granting that we have problems with the number and especially the distribution of physicians, and that not all qualified students can enter medical schools, the facts are otherwise.

The AMA Council on Medical Education published its first classification of medical schools in 1907, and since 1942 has been an equal partner with the Association of American Medical Colleges in the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which is recognized by numerous groups, including the US Office of Education, for its accreditation of medical schools. The Liaison Committee membership