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American Medical Schools and the Practice of MedicineA History$
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William G. Rothstein

Print publication date: 1987

Print ISBN-13: 9780195041866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195041866.001.0001

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The Organization of Medical Schools After 1950

The Organization of Medical Schools After 1950

(p.220) 11 The Organization of Medical Schools After 1950
American Medical Schools and the Practice of Medicine

William G. Rothstein

Oxford University Press

Between 1950 and 1980, state and federal funding made higher education a major component of American society in terms of the number of institutions, students, and faculty members; the range of academic and professional programs; and the capital investment and expenditures. Medical schools also grew from small, narrowly based institutions that educated undergraduate medical students to large academic medical centers that provided a wide range of educational, research, and patientcare activities. The schools changed their internal structures by replacing part-time faculty members with full-time faculty and restricting clinicians’ private practices to the medical school. Their independent sources of funding and autonomy affected relations with their parent universities, affiliated health schools, and the community. The most distinctive feature of higher education after mid-century has been its greater accessibility to students. The number of degree-credit enrolled college students increased from 2.7 million in 1949 to 5.9 million in 1965, 11.2 million in 1975, and 12.4 million in 1982. Between 1950 and 1982, the proportion of the 25- to 29-year-old population who had completed four or more years of college rose from 7.7 percent to 21.7 percent, even though the number of persons in that age group increased by two-thirds. The most rapid growth in higher education occurred from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, when total degree-credit enrollment tripled. From 1975 to the early 1980s, three-fourths of the growth has been due to part-time students. The greater accessibility of higher education has especially benefited those groups of students who had low rates of college attendance at mid-century. The number of women students increased from 0.8 million in 1949 to 6.4 million in 1981, while the number of men increased from 1.9 million to 6.0 million. Between 1950 and 1982, the proportion of blacks 25 to 29 years of age who had completed four or more years of college increased from 2.8 percent to 15.8 percent. In 1979, blacks accounted for 10.5 percent of high school graduates and 10.0 percent of college enrollees. In the same year, hispanics accounted for 4.3 percent of high school graduates and 4.2 percent of college enrollees. Changes have occurred in the academic status of many students.

Keywords:   Academic health centers, Clinical campus, Community-based medical schools, Interdisciplinary health education, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Washington University medical school

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