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Disparities in Dermatologist Density Found in US

JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Sep 5; Feng, et al

There are substantial disparities in the geographic distribution of dermatologists and these disparities have been increasing with time, according to a recent study. Researchers analyzed county-level data for the years 1995 to 2013 from the Area Health Resources File in order to evaluate the longitudinal trends and demographic and environmental factors associated with the geographic distribution of dermatologists. They found:

  • Dermatologist density increased by 21% from 3.02 per 100,000 people to 3.65 per 100,000 people from 1995 to 2013; the gap between the density of dermatologists in urban and other areas increased from 2.63 to 3.06 in nonmetropolitan areas and from 3.41 to 4.03 in rural areas.
  • The ratio of dermatologists aged >55 years to <55 years increased 75% in nonmetropolitan and rural areas (from 0.32 to 0.56) and 170% in metropolitan areas (from 0.34 to 0.93).
  • Dermatologists tended to be located in well-resourced, urban communities.

Feng H, Berk-Krauss J, Feng PW, Stein JA. Comparison of dermatologist density between urban

and rural counties in the United States. [Published online ahead of print September 5, 2018]. JAMA Dermatology. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3022.