March 26, 1997

Benchmarking the Physician Workforce

Author Affiliations

Editor, The Gastroenterologist Norwalk, Conn

JAMA. 1997;277(12):964-965. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540360032022

To the Editor.  —In their article on benchmarking the US physician workforce,1 Dr Goodman and associates reported on a new experimental projection technique to analyze the physician workforce. The authors analyzed a large health maintenance organization, a hospital referral region dominated by managed care in 1 city, and a hospital referral region dominated by fee for service in another city in 3 different geographic areas. The data were collected from 3 small geographic areas within this large country, and the authors state this new technique cannot be considered a true polling of the health care system of the country. The data show tremendous variation within the 3 areas reviewed. However, if tremendous variation exists in the 3 areas studied and the data represent a small nonstatistically significant population, then no clear conclusions can be drawn relative to the entire health care system.In an accompanying Editorial, Dr Schroeder2