Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
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.
Starfield B, Forrest CB. Perceptions of Physician Shortages. JAMA. 2004;291(14):1695-1696. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1696-b