IN THE fall of 1972,I went to work as a family practitioner in a new community clinic in the barrio of Sante Fe, NM. Although I was a member of the recently established National Health Service Corps (NHSC)1,2 and, therefore, a federal employee, I was assigned to the community board of La Clinica de la Gente as their physician. My partner (another NHSC physician) and I began to build the practice from the ground up. This included obtaining hospital privileges, joining the local medical society, establishing a medical records system, designing a treatment room, and stocking a small pharmaceutical dispensary. At the same time, we worked with the community board to determine the clinic's fee schedule, hours of operation, patient policies, and hiring policies. The final decisions in these latter areas belonged to the board.
While we were generally well received, we were clearly anomalies in the medical community.
Mullan F. Community Practice: The Cake-Bake Syndrome and Other Trials. JAMA. 1980;243(18):1832–1835. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300440034022
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