Primary Care Physicians

UnknownAccess to care requires not only financial coverage, but also, access to providers. While high rates of specialist physicians have been shown to be associated with higher, and perhaps unnecessary utilization, sufficient availability of primary care physicians is essential for preventive and primary care, and when needed, referrals to appropriate specialty care.

  • Greg F

    This graphic is misleading. It purports to represent the ratio of the overall population to the number of primary care physicians serving that population, which is reflected in the ratio at the right of each bar. According to the ratios, Texas has a higher ratio of population per physician than the national average. Said another way, it has FEWER doctors per capita. The bars made up of little doctors implies exactly the opposite, that Texas has MORE doctors per capita than the U.S. average.

  • Travis

    Agree with Greg F’s comments, a bit misleading how it is represented. Past that, the data can be misleading altogether. Physician/Population ratios can be a very dangerous statistic to use when discerning whether or not a given service area has sufficient access to providers. Payer mix, disease trends, population demographics, economic viability, alternative delivery methods, system competition, etc. can all make traditional ratios irrelevant. That can be intensified when looking at a counties in north Texas that can vary a great deal over just a few city blocks. Just look at Boston, MA. They have more physicians per capita versus almost anyone in the US, but patients still wait weeks longer just to see a primary care provider.