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February 28, 1948


JAMA. 1948;136(9):626-627. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890260034010

The pronouncement by Dr. Thomas Parran, surgeon general of the U. S. Public Health Service,1 that the country is faced with a shortage of 30,000 to 50,000 physicians by 1960 has recently been reemphasized by the federal security administrator, Mr. Oscar Ewing. Many government officials, as well as the public, have been led to believe that urgent measures are required to prevent a grave shortage of medical care. Alarm is unwarranted and unjustified. Actually the number of physicians is increasing at a relatively more rapid rate than is the general population. Ten years ago the statistics indicated one active physician for every 800 persons in this country; at present there is one physician for every 760 persons; by 1960 there will be one physician for every 700 persons or fewer. More physicians are currently being trained in this country than at any time in our history. All indications point

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