—Dr Balaklaw is concerned that while most workforce planners concur that we either have trained or are on the verge of training too many physicians, this circumstance may not prevail in the future. We fully agree that future needs are too uncertain to predict precisely how many physicians of each discipline will be needed. That is the very reason that the 6 major professional organizations proposed in their consensus statement in January 19971 that a new public- and privatesector oversight advisory body should be formed to monitor closely the changing requirements and supply of physicians. The Congress chose to delegate this oversight review to the newly created Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Only time will tell whether MedPAC will successfully monitor the changing needs and supply of physicians for responsible and timely adjustments, either up or down.
Dunn MR, Miller RS. Graduate Medical Education and Government Oversight-Reply. JAMA. 1997;278(19):1571. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550190035034