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Number of primary care physicians (including general practice, family practice, OB-GYN, pediatrics, and internal medicine) per 100,000 population.

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Primary Care Physicians: Iowa

Iowa Primary Care Physicians (2005-2015) see more
  • Number of primary care physicians (including general practice, family practice, OB-GYN, pediatrics, and internal medicine) per 100,000 population.

Primary Care Physicians

United States Primary Care Physicians (2005-2015) see more
  • Number of primary care physicians (including general practice, family practice, OB-GYN, pediatrics, and internal medicine) per 100,000 population.
Ranking Value State
1 206.7 Massachusetts
2 183.7 Maryland
3 181.3 Vermont
4 179.6 Rhode Island
5 170.1 New York
6 169 Connecticut
7 146.2 Minnesota
8 145.2 New Jersey
9 140.9 Hawaii
10 138.8 Illinois
11 137.5 New Hampshire
12 135.2 Maine
13 135.1 Pennsylvania
14 134.6 Oregon
15 129.7 Ohio
16 128.2 Washington
17 127.2 Virginia
18 126.4 Tennessee
19 125.3 Wisconsin
20 125 Louisiana
21 124.1 Michigan
22 123.3 California
23 123.2 Colorado
24 123.1 Nebraska
25 122.4 North Dakota
26 119.9 New Mexico
27 119.7 North Carolina
28 115.2 Missouri
29 114.9 South Dakota
30 114.3 Delaware
31 114.2 Alaska
32 111.7 Florida
33 109.2 West Virginia
34 108.8 South Carolina
35 108.3 Kansas
36 107.1 Georgia
37 107 Kentucky
38 106.7 Indiana
39 105.3 Arkansas
40 103.5 Alabama
41 102.6 Montana
42 99.7 Arizona
43 99.4 Texas
44 90.5 Utah
45 89 Iowa
46 88.7 Wyoming
47 85.6 Nevada
48 85.2 Oklahoma
49 84.7 Mississippi
50 81.5 Idaho

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Overview

Primary Care Physicians is a measure of access to primary care for the general population as measured by the number of primary care physicians per 100,000 population. Primary care physicians include all those who identify themselves as Family Practice physicians, General Practitioners, Internists, Pediatricians, Obstetricians, or Gynecologists. The 2014 ranks are based on 2013 data from the American Medical Association’s publication Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the United States, 2014 Edition. Data used with permission.

Primary care physicians range from 206.7 physicians per 100,000 population in Massachusetts to 81.5 physicians per 100,000 population in Idaho. The national average is 127.4 primary care physicians per 100,000 population, essentially unchanged in the last few years. 

 

Public Health Impact

The number of primary care physicians is a measure of health care availability. Primary care physicians provide direct patient care and counsel patients on the appropriate use of specialists and advanced treatment options. They are typically the patient’s first point of contact with the health care system and provide critical preventive care, disease management, and referrals to specialists. Primary care physician availability has a documented influence on health; more primary care physicians have been linked to better health outcomes including lower rates of low birthweight, lower all-cause mortality, and longer life spans.[1]

Racial and socioeconomic disparities regarding access to primary care physicians have been documented, and they lead to disparities in health outcomes.[2] In 2007, 27.3% of blacks and 37.7% of Hispanics had no usual source of medical care compared with 20.7% of whites (all estimates adjusted for health status).[3] In the same year there was a 5-year difference in life expectancy between blacks and whites, and blacks were also more likely to visit emergency departments for diabetes care. Minorities are less likely to receive treatment for cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and aneurysms, among other diseases.[4] Most of the disparities in access to care for blacks and Hispanics are explained by marital status, income, health insurance, and education.[5]

The number of primary care physicians per 100,000 people changes due to evolving state populations, physician retirements, new physicians, and physicians switching states and specialties. Projected shortages are driven by population growth, the aging population, and insurance expansions that increase demand for primary care visits.[6]

Not all proposed solutions to these projected shortages recommend simply increasing the number of primary care physicians. Some proposals call for increasing the practice scope of non-physician practitioners and creating new ways to provide health care while reducing the volume of need for physicians.[7],[8] Healthy People 2020 objectives related to primary care physicians include increasing the proportion of persons with a usual primary care provider and increasing the number of practicing primary care providers.

 


[1] Starfield B. Contribution of primary care to health systems and health. Milbank Q. 2005;83(3):457.

[2] Shi L, Chen CC, Nie X, Zhu J, Hu R. Racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to primary care among people with chronic conditions. J Am Board Fam Med. 2014;27(2):189-198.

[3] Mahmoudi E, Jensen G. Diverging racial and ethnic disparities in access to physician care: comparing 2000 and 2007. Medical Care. 2012;50(4):327-334.

[4] Shi L, Chen CC, Nie X, Zhu J, Hu R. Racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to primary care among people with chronic conditions. J Am Board Fam Med. 2014;27(2):189-198.

[5] Mahmoudi E, Jensen G. Diverging racial and ethnic disparities in access to physician care: comparing 2000 and 2007. Medical Care. 2012;50(4):327-334.

[6] Petterson SM, Liaw WR, Phillips RL, Rabin DL, Meyers DS, Bazemore AW. Projecting US primary care physician workforce needs: 2010-2025. Ann Fam Med. 2012;10(6):503-509.

[7] Chen PG-C, Mehrotra A, Auerbach DI. Do we really need more physicians? Responses to predicted primary care physician shortages. Med Care. 2014;52(2):95-96.

[8] Bodenheimer TS, Smith MD. Primary care: proposed solutions to the physician shortage without training more physicians. Health Aff (Millwood). 2013;32(11):1881-1886.