Over the last ten years, we have kept an eye on the possible role of technology and of a different mix of health professionals on the delivery of personal health services. Seven years ago we decided that the day of technology had not arrived and we elected to diversify the manpower mix. This led to the development of the Duke physician's assistant or associate program. We never lost our interest in the machines, however, and today we believe their time has come. We are on the brink of a major technological breakthrough in the practice of complex medicine. This technological revolution will change the educational patterns in medical schools, will have far-reaching effects on patterns of practice in the medical centers, and will give the medical centers the leverage in community hospitals to set up a reasonable regionalization program.
Before proceeding with our thesis, we must acknowledge that many prophets