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May 1971

Use of Allied Health Professionals in Internists' Offices: Current Practices and Physicians' Attitudes

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the American Society of Internal Medicine, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;127(5):924-931. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310170132018

A survey of 3,425 members of the American Society of Internal Medicine (ASIM) in 1,800 offices shows an average of 2.22 allied health workers employed per internist. The smaller the office, the less likely are the personnel to have formal training in health care. There is an inverse correlation between physician-population ratio and both the number of health workers employed and the degree to which the physician delegates aspects of his practice to assistants in the various regions of the United States. There is a considerable gap between what the internist believes he could and should entrust to allied health personnel and what he actually does. A substantial number of internists believe that either a registered nurse (RN) or a physician's assistant can, under supervision, perform aspects of patient care traditionally restricted to the physician.