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October 1977

Dermatologists for the Nation: Projections of Supply and Demand

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(10):1367-1371. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640100045003

• Because inappropriate supply of physician specialists involves unnecessary human suffering or waste of human resources and because free market forces are ineffective in the medical sector, deliberate planning of supply is necessary. A model projecting the future supply of dermatologists was formulated on the basis of current residency capacity, which produces 250 dermatologists annually, and current experience regarding life expectancy and retirement. The model implies that an equilibrium supply of 8,800 dermatologists, or three per 100,000 population, will be realized early in the 21st century. A number of methods were used to estimate the demand for care, and, under conditions of general access, three dermatologists per 100,000 appear to be appropriate. Thus, maintaining current training capacity seems to be prudent, but because of many unknown and unpredictable factors, periodic reassessment is necessary.

(Arch Dermatol 113:1367-1371, 1977)