Study of urban physician supply trends

The purpose of this project is to use secondary data analysis and construct a nationally representative sample of urban census tracts, to analyze the association between characteristics of urban areas and physician availability, and to determine how those relationships have changed between 1980 and 1995. Trends in these areas will then be projected to the year 2000. The investigators will then compare the trends at the two points in time in order to determine whether changes in physician availability are associated with changes in health workforce policy and/or changes in health service delivery organization, and market structure. The study will make several unique contributions to workforce policy research: (1) it focuses on the under-studied problems of availability in urban, rather than rural areas; (2) it uses a sufficiently small unit of analysis--the census tract--to enable analysis of the wide range known to exist within the metropolitan areas; (3) it employs probability sampling techniques designed to ensure representativeness of all urban areas, which enables generalization of the results beyond the specific locations selected for study; and (4) it employs multivariate statistical methods to make comparisons that simultaneously account for a broad array of variables known to influence physician availability, while isolating the independent contributions of specific policy initiatives from myriad background factors. The project will produce three products intended to inform policy makers in a timely manner. The first will be a descriptive study of major trends in urban physician availability, to be published in a leading health policy journal; the second will be an interim policy brief containing projections of expected physician availability in the year 2000 in order to anticipate areas where rapid changes in availability are likely to occur; and the third product will be a report presenting a series of maps of physician availability in major metropolitan areas.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $197,995.00

Awarded on: 5/27/1997

Time frame: 6/1/1997 - 3/31/1999

Grant Number: 30968


University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Health Sciences Learning Center
750 Highland Avenue
Madison, 53705-2221


David A. Kindig
Project Director