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May 28, 1982

Hospital Governing Boards

JAMA. 1982;247(20):2778. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320450016007

To the Editor.—  I wish to reply to the timely and thoughtful article by Albert J. Miller, MD (1982;247:469). Any of us who have dealt with hospital governing boards assuredly share his views. In the simplistic era of yesteryear, it was appropriate for such boards to be composed of publicspirited citizens who thought it their duty to perform such functions as their community responsibility. Their "curricula vitae" accordingly could contain any number of such board appointments. I well remember the first staff physicians appointed to such a governing board some 25 years ago when the complexity of hospital operation first became evident. When, in recent years, provision of health care was further complicated by astronomic escalation of its cost and accordingly participated in by third-party payers, it was apparent that a radical change was necessary in hospital governance. Yesterday's trustee is as outmoded as the horse and buggy unless he