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Physicians: How Many Do We Need?

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Princeton, New Jersey

Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(1_Part_1):135-136. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-93-1-135
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During recent decades the federal government has assumed a larger share of the costs of medical education. As public subsidies have increased, Congress has become more interested in knowing how many doctors of what types are required to best meet the needs of the American public. Until 1976 federal policy was straightforward. It encouraged expansion in the supply of physicians. But debate over the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act in 1976 highlighted the difficulties of solving existing access problems by simply increasing the supply of physicians while ignoring a generalist-to-specialist imbalance and the continuing problems of geographic maldistribution. In response


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