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September 1985

The Geographic Maldistribution of Neurologists: One State's Experience

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Rutgers Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ; and the Health Services Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(9):897-900. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060080083020

In recent years, evidence has been accumulating that an oversupply of practicing physicians, especially in some specialties, would become more severe during the next decade as those medical students and postgraduate trainees already in the pipeline complete their education and enter practice.1 Along with an oversupply, a geographic maldistribution of many groups of specialists has been recognized, and a consensus is emerging that would seek a more rational manpower allocation, so that presently underserved segments of the population receive needed care.2 Schwartz et al3 and Newhouse et al4 have studied the diffusion of physicians by community size in recent years and have demonstrated that more board-certified specialists are now practicing in smaller communities.

One of the keystone questions in health manpower policy is whether the considerably wider availability of specialized services is always beneficial for the vast majority of patients.5 In this context, little attention