Access to medical care and the local supply of physicians.
This paper focuses on one aspect of access to physicians' services, the time patients spend obtaining physicians' service. Patient time is divided into travel and waiting time components. Communities in which the patient's total time commitment tend to be the highest are generally the most populous cities. Pairwise comparisons between central cities and non-central cities in the 22 largest Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) reveal that patient is higher in central cities in the vast majority of cases. Although the area physician-population ratio tends to have the anticipated negative impact on patient time, the ratio explains very little of the total intercommunity variation in the latter variable. Implications for physician manpower policy are discussed.
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