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February 25, 2009

Health Workforce Planning and Medical Student Career Choice

JAMA. 2009;301(8):824-826. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.157

To the Editor: In his Editorial on improving accountability for the public investment in health profession education, Dr Goodman1 states, “It is unreasonable to expect that market forces will self-organize an effective health workforce.” The present market forces have generated the current specialty spectrum of clinicians, an array (as Goodman points out) increasingly mismatched to today's health care needs. He argues for planning through control of specialty training slots. However, no amount of such planning will be effective in the long-term while the current market forces persist.