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The Health Manpower Challenge to Internal Medicine

Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(5):768-770. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-5-768
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Health manpower planning is an uncertain and humbling business. Decisions to expand or constrict physician supply or to modify specialty mix have enduring consequences. For example, the decision to increase the capacity of medical schools in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s prompted a gradual expansion in the number of practicing physicians, a trend that will affect health policy for at least the next 40 years.

Rational policy concerning health manpower requires accurate assessment of both supply and demand. Supply can be forecasted by simple bookkeeping techniques, given reasonable estimates of the current physician pool and projections concerning


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