Workforce Planning: Estimating Emergency Physicians and Uncovering Primary Care

Loren A. Johnson, MD
JAMA. 1994;272(24):1899. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520240027029.
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To the Editor.  —In his article,1 Dr Kindig cites master file data from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to count generalist physicians and list ratios of these per 100 000 population.In the category of emergency medical services, these data appear to be seriously flawed. Kindig lists the total number of emergency physicians as 14 334, for a ratio of 5.6 per 100 000 population. However, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has estimated the number of practicing emergency physicians to be in the area of 27 000, or nearly double the number cited by Kindig (census data from climate surveys, ACEP). Membership data from the California chapter of the ACEP demonstrates that there are well over 3000 practicing physicians in California alone, which would yield a ratio close to 10 per 100 000.This apparent discrepancy in the case of emergency


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