Hospital-based “firms” provide a means for combatting the fragmentation experienced by both patients and caregivers in the modern teaching hospital environment. A “firm” is an academic group practice that includes attending physicians, physician trainees, nurses, other staff, and patients. Each person's relationship with a firm lasts throughout his or her association with a particular institution. This article describes the firm system that was recently implemented on the Medical Service of the Cleveland VAMC. This system incorporates both inpatient and outpatient general medical services and provides for unbiased assignment of patients, physicians, and nurses. © 1992, Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.