The growth of managed care will create a surplus of 165,000 physicians and a deluge of specialists by the turn of the century, a new study contends.
The analysis, by Jonathan Weiner of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, said the nation's supply of specialists will exceed required numbers by 60% in the year 2000. The Clinton administration and congressional advisory groups recommend there should be a 50-50 split between generalists and specialists.
The analysis assumes 45% to 65% of Americans will be receiving their healthcare from managed-care networks by the year 2000.
Earlier this year, the Council on Graduate Medical Education said at least 50% of new physicians should go into general practice as family physicians, internists or pediatricians. COGME, which serves as an advisory panel to Congress, also called for a policing mechanism at the local level to ensure that 50% of those graduating from medical school by the year 2000 become primary-care physicians (Feb. 28, p. 3).
Mr. Weiner's analysis contrasts slightly with COGME estimates that there will be a shortage of 35,000 general physicians and a surplus of 115,000 specialists. Medical schools graduate about 17,000 students a year.
The Weiner study was published in the July 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.