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Clinic Managers

History

Institutions for health care have origins in the mid-18th century, when Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond, a physician and surgeon, cofounded the Pennsylvania Hospital, which was the first hospital in the American colonies. There was no specialization in hospital administration and management in the early days. Those who were appointed to administrator roles might have had prior experience as physicians, nurses, or other medical workers, but they were not educated or trained specifically in hospital or health care administration.

The first formal recognition of the position of hospital administrators was in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when hospital superintendents gathered throughout those years to discuss the issues and interests that they shared in their work. These gatherings gave rise to the Association of Hospital Superintendents, founded in 1899. In 1906 the organization was renamed to the American Hospital Association, which continues to this day as a national organization that provides education and representation for health care leaders such as clinic managers. The American College of Healthcare Executives was founded in 1933 to provide health care leaders with best management practices and principles, professional development, and other resources.

The health care and medical field has advanced and expanded tremendously since the 20th century, with ongoing innovations in medical technology and equipment, an increasing number of health care specializations, the introduction and growth of telehealth, and more. According to the Department of Labor, about a third of all medical and health services managers work in hospitals, about 12 percent work in physicians’ offices, and 10 percent work in nursing and residential care facilities. The role of clinic manager has become an essential role for effectively managing large and small health care facilities.