Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Primary care physician growth trails population growth

Key clinical point: The total number of primary care physicians increased from 2005 to 2015, but in a disproportionate manner that may have a negative effect on life expectancy.

Major finding: From 2005 to 2015, mean primary care physician supply decreased from 46.6 per 100,000 population (95% confidence interval, 0.0-114.6 per 100,000 population) to 41.4 per 100,000 (95% CI, 0.0-108.6).

Study details: An epidemiological study of U.S. population and individual-level claims data gathered from 3,142 U.S. counties, 7,144 primary care service areas, and 306 hospital referral regions.

Disclosures: The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health; data was accessed through the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences Data Core, which is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and by Stanford (Calif.) University. One author reported being a senior adviser at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation; another reported being an adviser to Bicycle Health. No conflicts of interest were reported.


Basu S et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Feb 18. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7624.