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April 14, 2004

Perceptions of Physician Shortages

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(14):1695-1696. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1696-b

To the Editor: Dr Cooper and colleagues1 reported that 54% of state medical society executives believed there to be a shortage of primary care practitioners. The next closest reported shortage area was for obstetrician/gynecologists (25%). Even medical school deans, who seem in a questionable position to estimate population needs, reported that primary care is the third leading shortage area, after anesthesiology and radiology. Despite their own results, the authors concluded that the country needs more specialists, on the basis of the combined percentages of a variety of speciality areas.

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