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December 11, 1987

Fifth Report to the President and Congress on the Status of Health Personnel in the United States, March 1986

Author Affiliations

American College of Healthcare Executives Chicago

American College of Healthcare Executives Chicago

JAMA. 1987;258(22):3316-3317. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400220116053

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Those of us who have been in the health care industry for some time know that in a span of less than two decades, we have gone from an estimated profound shortage of physicians to an estimate of tremendous oversupply. Contained in this approximately 500-page document is an enormous wealth of data—mostly of 1984 vintage—on physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, pharmacists, veterinarians, public health personnel, and allied health professionals. In separate chapters, each profession is described using current numbers, demographics, educational structure, and enrollment trends. Also, each chapter considers the key issue confronting the profession at this point in its evolution. Finally, unresolved issues and important newly funded research are documented, and, in the case of nursing and public health, a brief recommendation to Congress is appended.

The bottom-line projection for 1990 and 2000 for almost all personnel is a rough balance between supply and requirements. Using various