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December 5, 1966

Conserving Costly Talents—Providing Physicians' New Assistants

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

JAMA. 1966;198(10):1108-1109. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110230124028

On April 7, 1965, an ad hoc committee was appointed at Duke University Medical Center for the purpose of evaluating programs within the medical center designed to bring new types of personnel into the health field. This report represents the recommendations of that committee regarding the objectives and most effective methods for developing such programs.

The situation which generated the ideas set forth in this report can be stated quite simply: personnel in the health field are too few in number and inadequately trained to meet the demands placed on the medical profession. In our view, medical schools and nursing schools as presently structured cannot supply sufficient numbers of doctors or career-oriented nurses to meet this demand. Furthermore, no workable solution to this problem can be predicted solely on reshuffling of the available talent.

The proposal to be outlined calls for the definition of a new member of the health