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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this conference summary was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the National Roundtable on Health Care Quality were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

The Institute of Medicine was chartered in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to enlist distinguished members of the appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. In this, the Institute acts under both the Academy's 1863 congressional charter responsibility to be an adviser to the federal government and its own initiative in identifying issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

Support for this project was provided by The Agency for Health Care Research and Policy (Department of Health and Human Services), The Commonwealth Fund (a New York City-based private independent foundation), the National Research Council, the Department of Defense (Health Affairs), and Pfizer Inc. The views presented in this summary reflect the discussion during the conference and are not necessarily those of the agencies or organizations with which they are affiliated or of the funding organizations.

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Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history. The serpent adopted as a logotype by the Institute of Medicine is a relief carving from ancient Greece, now held by theca Staatliche Museen in Berlin.



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