Geographical Disparities in Physician Availability: Implications for Healthcare Access and Quality
The availability of physicians across the United States varies significantly by state, according to the 2021 State Physician Workforce Data Report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This disparity in physician availability has implications for healthcare access and quality, particularly in states with fewer active physicians per 100,000 population.
- The national average of active physicians is 286.5 per 100,000 people.
- States with the fewest numbers of active physicians per 100,000 population include Idaho (196.1), Mississippi (196.8), and Oklahoma (209.6).
- States with the highest numbers of active physicians per 100,000 population are Massachusetts (466.0), Maryland (393.5), and New York (389.4).
- Physician compensation varies by state, with efforts made to attract more physicians by increasing salaries and incentives.
According to a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the US could see an estimated shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians by 2033.
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