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June 1975

Geographic Distribution of Ophthalmologists and Optometrists

Arch Ophthalmol. 1975;93(6):465. doi:10.1001/archopht.1975.01010020479013

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To the Editor.  —In the article by Hayes and Randall in the November issue of the Archives (92:363, 1974), the authors indicate that the geographic distribution of these professionals is due to factors that "are undoubtedly complex and dependent on local factors." They infer that the geographic distribution of professionals is determined by "free market mechanisms."I would like to suggest to the authors, if they wish to carry this work further, that they investigate the geographic location of training centers as the primary factor. For example, the authors' data show that in the state of Illinois, there are far more optometrists per unit population than in any other state in the United States. There is also, in Chicago, the Illinois College of Optometry, which in its long history is reputed to have trained more optometrists than any other optometric school in the United States. Is it coincidence that the

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