Primary Care Physicians is a measure of access to primary care for the general population as measured by 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. Ranks are based on the most recently available data from the American Medical Association's Physician Characteristics and Distribution Report.
The number of primary care physicians is a measure of the availability of health care. Primary care physicians provide direct patient care and, as necessary, counsel patients in the appropriate use of specialists and advanced treatment options. Primary care physicians are often the first point of contact with the health care system for patients and provide critical preventative care, ongoing care and referrals to specialists. The availability of primary care physicians has a documented influence on health as greater numbers of primary care physicians have been linked to better health outcomes including lower rates of low birthweight, lower all cause mortality, and longer life spans . The number of primary care physicians per 100,000 people is constantly changing due to changing state populations, physician retirements, new physicians, and physicians moving between states and specialties.
 Starfield B. Contribution of primary care to health systems and health. Milbank Q. 2005;83(3):457.
The measures tracked by America's Health Rankings are those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For a state to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on these measures, these determinants of health.
|2005 - South Carolina||32||105.8||View Actions|
|2006 - South Carolina||33||105.3||View Actions|
|2007 - South Carolina||30||106.6||View Actions|
|2008 - South Carolina||34||105.5||View Actions|
|2009 - South Carolina||33||105.9||View Actions|
|2010 - South Carolina||34||104.3||View Actions|
|2011 - South Carolina||34||104.6||View Actions|
|2012 - South Carolina||33||106.4||View Actions|