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Recent government policy initiatives to foster medical innovation and high-quality care in England have prompted academic and clinical leaders to develop new organizational models to support the tripartite Flexnerian mission of academic medicine. Medical schools and health care providers have responded by aligning their missions and creating integrated governance structures that strengthen their partnerships. In March 2009, the government officially designated five academic-clinical partnerships as England's first academic health science centers (AHSCs). As academic-clinical integration is likely to continue, future AHSC leaders could benefit from an analysis of models for organizing medical school-clinical enterprise relationships in England's emerging AHSCs. In addition, as the United States ponders health systems reform and universal coverage, U.S. medical leaders may benefit from insight into the workings of academic medicine in England's universal health system. In this article, the authors briefly characterize the organization and financing of the National Health Service and how it supports academic medicine. They review the policy behind the designation of AHSCs. Then, the authors describe contrasting organizational models adopted in two of the newly designated AHSCs and analyze these models using a framework derived from U.S. literature. The authors conclude by outlining the major challenges facing academic medicine in England and offer suggestions for future research collaborations between leaders of AHSCs in the United States and England.

Original publication




Journal article


Acad Med

Publication Date





1282 - 1289


Academic Medical Centers, England, Humans, Leadership, Models, Organizational, Partnership Practice, Societies, Scientific