Health United States 2020-2021

Physicians

Physicians in patient care work in a doctor’s office, hospital, or in ambulatory settings. They manage and treat a variety of medical conditions, from minor cuts to surgery and mental health to palliative care. An adequate supply of physicians helps ensure access to health care (1). In addition to the number of physicians, geographic distribution and the availability of different specialists affects the adequacy of the supply (1).

Key Findings

Change: 2009 to 2019
Increase

The supply of professionally active physicians in patient care per 10,000 U.S. resident population was 9.3% higher in 2019 (28.2) than in 2009 (25.8). See Featured Charts for additional analysis.

SOURCE: American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. (Copyright 2021 American Medical Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.) See Sources and Definitions, American Medical Association (AMA) and Health, United States, 2020–2021 Table DocSt.

Featured Chart

In 2019, there were 3.5 times as many physicians per 10,000 population in the District of Columbia (D.C.) compared with Idaho, the state with the lowest supply of physicians.

Figure is a map of the United States showing the number of physicians in patient care per 10,000 resident population in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for 2019.

SOURCE: American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. (Copyright 2021 American Medical Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.) See Sources and Definitions, American Medical Association (AMA) and Health, United States, 2020–2021 Table DocSt.

  • By state, the supply of professionally active physicians in patient care per 10,000 resident population in 2019 was lowest in Idaho (19.0), Mississippi (19.8), and Wyoming (20.2), and highest in D.C. (65.8), Massachusetts (44.2), and Rhode Island (40.7).
  • States in the East South Central, West South Central, and Mountain census divisions had the fewest physicians in patient care per population, while states in the Middle Atlantic and New England census divisions had the most.

Explore Data

Download the data

Active physicians and physicians in patient care, by state: United States, selected years 1975–2019

SOURCE: American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. (Copyright 2021 American Medical Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.)


Health care employment and wages, by selected occupations: United States, selected years 2000–2020

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.

Definitions

  • Geographic division: The U.S. Census Bureau groups the 50 states and D.C., for statistical purposes, into nine divisions based on geographic proximity. For a list of divisions and their states, see Sources and Definitions, Geographic division or region.
  • Jenks natural breaks classification method: Modified Jenks categories minimize within-group variation and maximize between-group variation. See Sources and Definitions, Jenks natural breaks classification method.
  • Physicians, professionally active: Data are presented for physicians currently engaged in patient care or other professional activity for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Physicians with unknown addresses or unknown type of practice or present employment are excluded. See Sources and Definitions, Physician.

Reference

  1. Health Resources and Services Administration. The physician workforce: Projections and research into current issues affecting supply and demand. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008.
Related Topics
Page last reviewed: August 12, 2022