Medical Group Practice Fast Facts
Since the start of the first group practices at Johns Hopkins University and Mayo Clinic, the group practice model has shaped the delivery, quality and patient expectations of health care in our country. Following are a few facts and highlights:
- The first medical group was formed in 1870 by the Homestake Mining Company in South Dakota to serve its employees.
- Harry J. Harwick, one of the first professionals to serve as practice administrator, was hired by Mayo Clinic in 1908.
- Forty-three percent of final-year medical residents prefer positions in a group practice vs. 4 percent hoping to go into solo practice.
- The number of group practices grew from 300 in 1932 to 16,500 in 1990 and to more than 37,000 in 2003.
- Almost 67 percent of office-based physicians were in group practices in 2001, compared with 54 percent in 1991.
The physicians in group practices have been credited with many medical innovations. Following are a few noted firsts that occurred in a group practice:
- First to discover a link between tobacco and lung cancer – 1939, the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans.
- First to use a heart-lung machine during an open-heart surgery – 1955, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
- First to provide pre-launch examinations of U.S. astronauts – 1959, Lovelace Clinic (now Lovelace Sandia Health System), Albuquerque, N.M.
- First to use electromagnetic imaging – 1974, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle.
- First to perform lithotripsy to treat kidney stones – 1985, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle.
For more information on how medical group practices are shaping the future of health care please contact MGMA Press Relations.
- Liz Johnson, senior public relations manager, toll-free 877.ASK.MGMA (275.6462), ext. 1347, or by e-mail
- Liz Boten, medial relations representative, toll-free 877.ASK.MGMA (275.6462), ext. 1332, or by e-mail