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March 16, 1970


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.

JAMA. 1970;211(11):1843-1845. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170110049010

The state of Washington, like many other states in this nation, is faced with a severe manpower shortage in the medical profession. Much of the shortage can be explained by distribution patterns; that is, there are certain population segments in the state which have difficulty obtaining adequate medical care when and where they need it. In some areas, this difficulty is due primarily to a lack of physician manpower. According to the Washington State Medical Education and Research Foundation, this fact is true especially in the rural parts of the state where the physician-patient ratio is constantly decreasing due to the urban migration of physicians and replacement failures. In addition, the age of general practitioners in these rural areas is steadily increasing.1 Thus efforts are needed to be directed to increasing the capacity of practitioners already in the areas, as well as making general practice more attractive to physicians