nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

No Relationship Between Access To Primary Care And The Number Of Primary Care Physicians

 
The argument is often made that people have trouble seeing a doctor in some areas of the country because there's an imbalance in the supply.

I'm no fan of the Darmouth Atlas, an academic policy research project whose members have little experience of the complexity of health care delivery, but this is interesting.

They call it "surprising" that there's no relationship between access and supply (only they would).


On the left you have the percent of Medicare patients who receive at least one clinical visit per year.  Along the bottom you have more PC physicians as you go from left to right.

Clearly a "scattergram," and attempts to use statistical tools to transform this blob into a linear relationship fail  (R2 = 0.07).

What other factors are there?  Culture, economic status, education, overall health...  The list is endless.  But the data argues against what the Netherlands does in their health care system:  they tell physicians where they have to practice, and limit the number per region.  A new doctor in the Netherlands has to practice where the government says, or buy out another physician's practice.  Otherwise, try a different career.

Doc D
 

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