The Doctor Shortage: An Economic Diagnosis

The Doctor Shortage: An Economic Diagnosis

The Doctor Shortage: An Economic Diagnosis

The Doctor Shortage: An Economic Diagnosis

Excerpt

American medicine is in a state of ferment. New legislation, the reports of public and private commissions, the torrent of articles and books concerned with health and medical care, and the many innovative and experimental programs both in medical education and in the organization and delivery of health services bear testimony to this fact. Central to the discussions concerning personal health services is the issue of the supply of health manpower. In the front line of that manpower stands the American physician.

This volume assesses the "doctor shortage." It projects the future demand for physician services and the supply of physicians available to render these services. It assesses alternative ways of meeting the growth in demand and reminds us that increasing the number of physicians is but one of these ways. The author concludes that increases in efficiency through new patterns of organization and development of new types of personnel may offer substantial returns. Potential sources of increases in physician productivity are considered and evaluated. The need for experimentation and demonstration programs and the direction that such programs might take are examined.

This study is the first in a new series of Studies in Social Economics . Like much of the work underway at Brookings in this field, it was supported in part by funds made available by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Under the agreement with the Department, Brookings is undertaking a number of studies on selected topics in the fields of health, education, social security, and welfare programs.

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