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January 20, 1951


JAMA. 1951;145(3):162. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920210034011

The Bureau of Medical Economic Research of the American Medical Association has been studying for several years the distribution of physicians in the United States. Repeatedly the Bureau has stressed the futility of attempting to show physician distribution by the use of state or county boundary lines. It believes a better solution lies in the determination of the actual distribution throughout the nation by medical service areas (rather than by counties or states). The Bureau recently published additional data in Bulletin 80.1 This bulletin, which is the fourth in a series, presents for the first time the size and population of each of the 757 medical service areas in the United States.

These areas are based on the trading area principle, and few of their boundaries coincide with the boundaries of states, counties and other political areas. The apportionment of the land area and the population of the counties