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January 6, 1993

Qualifications for Administrative Medicine: Is an MD Enough?-Reply

JAMA. 1993;269(1):46. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500010055021

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In Reply.  —Dr Shlian has noted correctly that a clinical background enriches the role of the physician manager, but does not substitute work-specific management skills and training. We also agree that it will become more difficult to make the transition from clinical practice to management without formal credentials. However, I believe Shlian's experience as a physician-executive recruiter may have exposed her to a biased sampling of management recruits, as young physicians just completing their business degree are more likely to contact physician recruiters. Further, the field of medical administration is quite broad and traditionally includes many members who are not traditionally hired through physician recruiters, such as academic department chairmen, federal and state employees, and the like. The American College of Physician Executives now has 6600 members. Of these, only 287 have an MBA and 55 a JD degree. The average age of the membership is 51 years.While I