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November 18, 1983

Preventing the Impending Doctor Glut

Author Affiliations

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey New Jersey Medical School Newark

JAMA. 1983;250(19):2603-2604. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340190017015

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To the Editor.—  There is increasing evidence that the problems of physician maldistribution will be virtually solved within the next few years and that we are moving inexorably toward a massive doctor glut that is likely to result in both physician dissatisfaction and increase in patient costs because of use of even more sophisticated technology.There has been general consensus about the doctor glut for the last two years, but, surprisingly, the medical profession has not moved expeditiously to head off the problem. If we do not move effectively soon, even draconian measures may subsequently fail.I have offered in the past and offer again the following three simple suggestions.

  1. Medical school enrollment must be cut by 20%. This should be accomplished by the start of the 1985 first-year enrollment. It could be accomplished by rollbacks toward 1975 enrollments in older schools and arbitrary cuts of 20% for all