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Medicine and Public Policy |

Where Have All the Doctors Gone?: Physician Choices Between Specialty and Primary Care Practice

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Earl P. Steinberg, M.D.; Department of Medicine, Primary Care Program, Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston, MA 02114.

Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts

© 1980 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(4):619-623. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-93-4-619
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Public concern about physician manpower is becoming increasingly focused on the distribution of physicians across specialties. Although an optimal mix of physicians has not been clearly defined, most interested parties agree that more primary care doctors are needed. We examine economic, psychological, and organizational incentives that tend to induce physicians to pursue careers in subspecialties rather than primary care. The existing incentive structure needs to be examined more closely and will almost certainly have to be redesigned if efforts to redeploy physician manpower are to be successful.





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