Distributional differences between family physicians and general internists

Imam M. Xierali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


While differences in practice style and costs between family medicine and internal medicine are relatively well known, the differences in geographic distribution between the two remain underexplored. This study aims to examine differences in distribution of family physicians and general internists by geographic and demographic characteristics. Data sources are the 2016 American Medical Association Physician Master File and 2015 American Community Survey. Results show that internists are more dominant in urban areas, especially in the Northeast; they are also more likely to practice in the West and South. Family physicians are more likely to practice in rural areas and primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas than internists; their distribution also varies significantly with respect to areas whose residents are members of racial/ ethnic minority groups, live in poverty, and are uninsured. Such differences should be a consideration for planning to address regional and national primary care workforce shortages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-722
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Maldistribution
  • Minority population
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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