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Unprecedented advances in biomedical research and the upheaval in health care economics have converged to cause seismic changes in the traditional organization of medical schools and academic health centers. This process is particularly evident in departments of internal medicine. The activities and functions of academic medicine are in the midst of separation and realignment along lines that do not honor historical departmental and divisional boundaries. The organization of a successful medical school or department must be dynamic, constantly serving its constituents to accommodate progress and change and to promote optimal structure for academic productivity.