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May 18, 1984

Physician Requirements in Neurology

Author Affiliations

New Brunswick. NJ

JAMA. 1984;251(19):2516. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340430022019

To the Editor.—  The recent estimates of 1990 physician requirements for Neurology by Bowman et al1 in the Nov 18 issue (8,350 physicians) is likely to be less accurate than the earlier Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee (GMENAC) provisional estimates (5,500 physicians), so that neurology is likely to be a specialty of oversupply. At the open meeting of the Office of Graduate Medical Education, I suggested that, since 87% of a neurologist's patients are referred by another physician or agency, the crucial element in constructing norms of care is dependent on the differential burden of neurological illness in the population of referred patients.Only eight common disorders are projected to fill two thirds of professional activity in 1990 for neurologists (Table).2 It is apparent from this Table that the lion's share of care requirements falls within what is generally associated with the scope of primary care practice.