As the supply of physicians grew during the 1970s, medical and surgical specialists diffused into smaller communities. In 1979, nearly every town with a population of more than 2,500 had ready access to a physician. The overall pattern of physician distribution was quite similar in the four disparate geographic regions chosen for study. The data strongly suggest that competitive forces play a major role in determining where physicians choose to practice. As the pool of physicians expands during the 1980s, a wide range of services will become increasingly available to populations outside metropolitan areas. The methods developed here provide an important tool for evaluating and shaping health manpower policy.
Newhouse JP, Williams AP, Bennett BW, Schwartz WB. Where Have All the Doctors Gone? JAMA. 1982;247(17):2392–2396. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320420042030
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