Vanderbilt Law Review


Jane L. Davis

First Page



The professional interdependence of the hospital institution and practicing physicians is a phenomenon of post-World War II society. This Note first examines the historical development of that interdependence and explores its erosion into a hospital-dominant mode. Next it examines the most important forces that influence and complicate the question of hospital privileges for the physician within the modern hospital: the interrelated pressures of intraprofessional restraints, pertinent government regulation, and medical technology. Then it sketches the internal procedures that have engendered and defined the relationship between physician and hospital, with special attention to the weaknesses within the procedures that have led to past litigation. Finally, this Note looks closely at significant emergent legal challenges in the area of the medical professional's hospital privileges and examines the health policy implications of the available alternatives. The Note concludes that the historical balance of power that has defined hospital access has been displaced. It proposes a diversification of institutional providers and a utilization of the newly-available autonomous health professionals.