The racial and ethnic composition and distribution of primary care physicians

Imam M. Xierali, Marc A. Nivet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Racial and ethnic minority physicians are more likely to practice primary care and serve in underserved communities. However, there are micro-practice patterns within primary care specialties that are not well understood. To examine the differences among primary care physician practice locations by specialty and race/ethnicity, a retrospective study was conducted on U.S. medical graduates who were direct patient care physicians in 2012. The group-specific contributions to primary care accessibility were decomposed by individual group of minorities underrepresented in medicine (URM). Results confirm significant differences not only in their distribution across underserved areas but also in their racial/ethnic composition by primary care specialties, with internist most diverse and family physicians least diverse. However, stratified analysis shows that within each primary care subspecialty, URM physicians were more likely to practice in underserved areas than their White peers regardless of specific specialties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-570
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Accessibility
  • Diversity
  • Primary care physicians
  • Underserved communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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