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May 1974

Academic Medicine:Where the Crucial Shortage of Physicians Resides

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(5):866-867. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320170142012

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It is the major contention of this commentary that, though there is a much-acknowledged shortage of physicians in the remote rural portions of America and in the teeming ghettos of the inner cities, the most alarming degree of physician shortage exists in the halls of academe itself. Furthermore, it will be argued that the shortage of manpower in the universities is, in fact, the point of crisis for the American health care system and that a failure to repair the deficiency within a very short time may lead to a drastic change in the quality of educational experiences for which the doctor of medicine degree is awarded.

The arithmetic of the argument seems clear. It reads as follows: The total number of medical schools that are now functioning in the United States is 113. If we consider only the clinical departments of these schools (for whom faculty who bear MD

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