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May 11, 1984

The Impending Doctor Glut

Author Affiliations

Shelton Medical Clinic Shelton, Neb

JAMA. 1984;251(18):2347. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340420019008

To the Editor.—  In the first paragraph of his letter to the editor entitled "Preventing the Impending Doctor Glut," Dr Louria1 advanced three statements that called for comments. First, he stated that "the problem of physician maldistribution will be virtually solved within the next few years" [italics added]. We have read here and there that more new physicians are going to smaller towns than previously; however, observation in Nebraska shows that while the physician-population ratio is improving, fewer physicians practice in small towns and more counties are left without active physicians. The statement that the maldistribution will be virtually solved soon appears to be a wishful generalization.Second, he said that too many physicians would result in "physician dissatisfaction." In general, physicians do not consider new colleagues as a competitive threat but as providing helpful skills. We see in every issue of JAMA calls for colleagues to join practicing