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March 31, 1975

Selected Characteristics of Black Physicians in the United States, 1972

Author Affiliations

Bureau of Health Resources Development US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1975;231(13):1338. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240250010002

To the Editor.—  An article by Theodis Thompson, PhD, in the Sept 23 issue of The Journal (229:1758, 1974) is of some concern to this office. The article, "Selected Characteristics of Black Physicians in the United States, 1972," is based on findings from a survey sponsored by this office. However, we did not see the article prior to its publication.Dr. Thompson states in the article that the findings are based on a sample survey. This statement is wholly inaccurate, and tends to give the findings greater significance than we believe is warranted. A lower-than-hoped-for response in a pretest led to a decision to mail questionnaires in the final survey to the identifiable universe of about 5,800 black physicians. Usable responses were obtained from only 3,405 physicians who identified themselves as black, so that the findings are subject to considerable overall nonresponse bias, in addition to the serious bias stemming