The mission that differs most among the nation’s medical schools, as well as between the medical school and the other academic units of a university, is the clinical service mission. Accreditation standards and national standardized examinations, such as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), have created similar educational curricula for all schools. Basic and clinical science research is similar for most schools, although there is a wide range in the magnitude of research and funding. On the other hand, the clinical enterprises of medical schools vary tremendously in size and format. Some schools are a part of a university-owned academic health center, while others depend on community hospital or veterans hospital affiliations for the education of students and care of patients. Furthermore, clinical faculty appointments range from full-time to part-time to voluntary, and all of them are valuable to the growing education and clinical research missions.

The clinical mission is also the one that has changed the most in recent history. Government reimbursement for the care of the elderly and poor through Medicare and Medicaid, corporate medicine, managed care, medical technology, and federal regulations have all had a significant impact on academic medicine. In the future, medical schools will be involved more with electronic sharing of medical information, quality of care initiatives, clinical guidelines and decreases in variation of care, and even more technological advances. Since the clinical faculty salaries depend more and more on clinical revenues, emphasis on measures of clinical productivity are likely to impinge on the capacity for faculty members to be involved in teaching and research.


Hospital Administration Hospital Administrator Clinical Faculty Accreditation Standard South CAROLINA 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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