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February 10, 1993

The Supply of Rural Physicians

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

JAMA. 1993;269(6):745. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500060043018

To the Editor.  —I agree with Dr Verby1 concerning the causes of such shortages and possible corrections of the problems. However, he left out an important fact that all persons interested in health care, and especially for the underserved, should continually keep in mind. The federal government during the Reagan-Bush-Quayle administrations massively built up the US military machine. Consistently, the government spent moneys for weapons when we could have supported health care for rural and poor persons. As part of that process, the government degraded the work of the Public Health Service and its National Health Service Corps and dumped such responsibilities back on the states. Perhaps Verby should have ended his comments with a plea for the allocation to health care of the peace dividend we thought would become available when we no longer faced the Soviets as enemies.