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November 18, 1983

A New Physician Supply Policy Is Needed

Author Affiliations

From Conservation of Human Resources, Columbia University, New York.

JAMA. 1983;250(19):2621-2622. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340190023024

THE PUBLICATION of "Estimates of Physician Requirements for 1990 for the Specialties of Neurology, Anesthesiology, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Radiology: A Further Application of the GMENAC Methodology" (p 2623) covering six specialties that were not included in the original GMENAC report is a reminder that the findings of Dr Alvin Tarlov and his legion of collaborators remain on the nation's health agenda.

There are many important questions about the future supply of physicians that warrant attention by members of the profession and its leaders. These include the determination of whether an oversupply threatens or is already here; the criteria for reaching a judgment about the adequacy of the supply; the extent to which factors on the demand side, eg, pressures to reduce reimbursement or the growing number of the elderly, will affect physicians' work loads; conflicts with nurse practitioners and nonmedical providers over "turf"; the rate