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Am J Med Sci. 1997 Dec;314(6):357-64.

Are academic medical societies needed in a changing healthcare arena?

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville 23610-0224, USA.


Medical research has been demonstrated to increase the quality of life for all Americans and to be a sound investment with clear financial savings. However, academic health centers, which are the major source of medical research, have experienced continued erosion of their financial base of support. The author reviews some of the elements which have precipitated the current crisis for many academic health centers and proposes short- and long-term goals that should be endorsed by academic medical societies as a means of reducing these institutions' financial dependence on clinical income and restoring to them their primary social mission: to train the highest caliber of practicing physicians and to be centers of fundamental, not technological, research. Such research has been demonstrated to reduce, not increase, health care costs. Academic medical societies must work together to educate the public and Congress about the needs of academic health care centers, and to provide a cohesive and constructive set of practical recommendations that can strengthen their future financial stability.

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