Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
In Reply: In response to Drs Sharpe, Petti,
Starfield, and Forrest, we did not request information about specific specialties,
but rather reported those specialties that the respondents spontaneously named.
Respondents often referred to shortages of "specialists" or "surgical specialists"
or "primary care physicians" without naming specific specialties. Those designations
may have included hospitalists, child psychiatrists, and others not specifically
cited in our article. Shortages were reported in a wide range of specialties,
including primary care, although the deficiencies in primary care did not
appear to be as pressing as in many of the non–primary care specialties.
In pointing out that the reported shortages were most profound in the non–primary
care specialties, we were merely summarizing the data.
Cooper RA, Wartman SA. Perceptions of Physician Shortages. JAMA. 2004;291(14):1695-1696. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1696-c