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To Improve Human Health: A History of the Institute of Medicine
individuals in other disciplines related to the problems of health care." Handler hoped that the process could be completed by the following spring. He concluded by thanking the Board for its proposal, which "has heightened our consciousness of the need for early reforms of our structure and mechanisms."85
The Diplomacy of Reconciliation
At a July postmortem meeting of the Board, Page said that the movement to start an independent National Academy of Medicine could no longer be contained. Dr. London believed that the group was the victim of timing. If Fred Seitz were still the NAS president, things would have turned out differently. McDermott tried to move beyond the anger and get the Board to decide on what to do now. Should the Board continue, or should its energy be put into forming an independent National Academy of Medicine? Dr. Bryan Williams, the physician from Dallas, said he did not want to wait any longer; it was time to form a National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Comroe urged the group to go back to Page's original conception of a National Academy of Medicine. Ivan Bennett agreed that the group had lost both time and money by working with the National Academy of Sciences. For all of the anger, however, the group could still not make a clean break from the NAS. Instead, McDermott was instructed to tell Philip Handler that it looked as though "the road is going to be that of an Academy of Medicine, that it is our hope that this can be done in a way that represents a natural disengagement from NAS with a lot of help from NAS." McDermott, meanwhile, clung to his hope that something could be worked out with the National Academy of Sciences.86
The situation had turned out as Page had thought. "It looks now as though the NAM is going to be formed independent of the NAS," he told a friend, "We are wiser but just about where we left off when the meetings were transferred to Washington." It was time to reunite the Cleveland group and get down to business. On August 15, Page sent a form letter to the leaders of his original Cleveland discussion group in which he announced tentative plans for another small meeting. The whole experience, he explained to Jim Shannon, demonstrated that a "chairman unsympathetic with the purposes of a group can really hamstring the progress of a committee."87
It was not a good time for the Board on Medicine. Within a week, it became clear that the study of medical education, which had received a final rejection from the National Institutes of Health,