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ARTICLE |

THE "PHYSICIAN SHORTAGE"—IS IT NECESSARY?

Herbert H. Kersten, MD
Arch Surg. 1972;104(3):355-356. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180030101028.
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ABSTRACT

To the Editor.  —Your recent editorial, "Too Many Surgeons?" prompts certain comments. Each year the apparent shortage of physicians grows more acute. At first only small towns were seriously affected. Now larger cities are experiencing difficulty in attracting sufficient numbers of doctors who will make themselves available to people who are acutely sick or injured.We have increased the output of our medical schools, but just enough to keep pace with our growing population. Even so, "doctor to population ratios" do not tell the whole story.An increasing proportion of our total medical man power pool is being shunted into specialties and subspecialties, many of which are far removed from the front line of community medical care. And it is in this latter area that the greatest shortage is developing.This is not to say that specialists are not needed. It is only to point out that demands for medical

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