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Number of Physicians And Health Care

Leslie Iffy, MD
JAMA. 1973;223(5):560. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220050060033.
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To the Editor.—  While Drs. Senior and Smith (222:178, 1972) may have valid points when they argue against the presumed shortage of physicians in this country, some of the supporting evidence is highly questionable.In Table 2, they endeavor to show that contrary to the Carnegie Commission findings,1 the United States in 1967 had a lower infant mortality than nine selected other countries with higher physician to population ratios. They appear to give little thought to the doubtful validity of comparing such crude figures. Most postpartum deaths are due to prematurity and immaturity. Thus, infant mortality depends, to a great extent, on the accepted borderlines between "abortion" and "birth." These definitions change from state to state in this country and even more so in foreign lands.The figures are substantially influenced by the frequency of immature and premature births in various communities. Those countries that had pioneered in the

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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