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Special Communication |

Growth of Specialization in Graduate Medical Education

Fred G. Donini-Lenhoff, MA; Hannah L. Hedrick, PhD
JAMA. 2000;284(10):1284-1289. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1284.
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The growth of specialization in graduate medical education (GME) and physician practice continues at a rapid rate, generating increasing national attention. Although the major educational, accrediting, and certifying bodies have mechanisms for approving new areas of study and practice, the results of their efforts have not been consistently congruent. This article presents information about GME since the beginnings of its standardization and accreditation in the early 20th century, its growth during and following World War II, and the variations among accredited specialties and subspecialties, certificates, and self-designated practice areas that have resulted from this long period of unstructured growth.

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Figure. Growth of Graduate Medical Education Accreditation and Certification, 1927-2000
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AMA indicates American Medical Association; ACGME, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; and ABMS, American Board of Medical Specialties. Asterisk indicates 12 certificates approved but not issued.



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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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