4% Increase in Population of Actively Licensed Physicians

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4% Increase in Population of Actively Licensed Physicians
4% Increase in Population of Actively Licensed Physicians

THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The total population of actively licensed physicians in the United States and the District of Columbia has increased by 4 percent since 2012, according to a report published in the Journal of Medical Regulation.

Aaron Young, Ph.D., from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) in Fort Worth, Texas, and colleagues reviewed FSMB data received in 2014 regarding the current supply of actively licensed physicians in the United States and the District of Columbia.

Based on census data, the researchers found that the total population of licensed physicians increased by 4 percent from 2012, to 916,264. On average, the nation added 12,168 more licensed physicians annually than it lost. In 2014, the average physician was one year older, more likely to be male (although females were increasing at entry level), and increasingly a graduate of a medical school in the Caribbean. The percentage of physicians with a single state medical license has remained unchanged (79 percent).

"The 2014 physician census data is an important starting point, however, for future studies comparing and analyzing patterns and trends of the nation's physician population," the authors write. "Explorations of the distribution of physicians by gender, age group, and whether and how the current population structure could help to maintain the physician workforce at a healthy and sustained level are also worthy of further investigation."

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