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July 1998

Public Health Need vs Market Demand for Ophthalmologists: What Are Our Priorities?

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(7):930. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.7.930

THE RESULTS of the Eye Care Workforce Study reported in this issue of the ARCHIVES raise concerns about an oversupply of eye care providers under current market conditions.1 At the same time, the results of the study demonstrate a marked disparity between the demand for eye care that is based on the current market and the demand for eye care that is based on public health need. In our current health care system, there clearly is a heavy burden of unrecognized eye disease.2-5 Much of the unrecognized disease is causing significant visual impairment that is preventable or reversible. Any discussion, then, of the implications of the Eye Care Workforce Study must begin with consideration of what needs to be done to enable the health care system to address unmet public health needs for eye care.

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