AHRQ: Nearly 209,000 Physicians Working in Primary Care

In 2010, approximately 209,000 physicians, 56,000 nurse practitioners and 30,000 physician assistants were practicing primary care, according to research commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

AHRQ commissioned the Robert Graham Center, a non-partisan primary care policy and analysis organization, to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the primary care workforce, which has experience a shortage of physicians. The goal of the analysis is to inform policy discussions around the U.S. primary care workforce. Key findings from that analysis include the following points:

•    Of the 624,434 U.S. physicians who spend the majority of their time in direct patient care, slightly less than one-third are specialists in primary care.
•    Family physicians (79,831) and general practitioners (9,557), general internists (71,487), general pediatricians (44,933) and geriatricians (2,999) make up the total 209,000 practicing primary care physicians in the United States.
•    Of the nearly 956 million visits that Americans made to office-based physicians in 2008, 51.3 percent were to primary care physicians.

Related Articles on Primary Care:

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500 Federally Qualified Health Centers to Participate in Demonstration Project to Improve Quality

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