Some Radical New Approaches to Dealing with the Physician Shortage.

by William B. Schwartz


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Proposal for developing new approaches and a wider mix of programs to deal with critical health manpower shortages. Many tasks now performed by physicians could be delegated to physician assistants or nonphysician health care specialists. These specialists, most of whom would function under physician supervision, could free the doctor for a considerable amount of time and allow him to make best use of his professional skills. To improve health services in areas where physicians are not available, new independent physicians' associates have been proposed and experimental programs are now in progress. It should be possible to develop computer programs to guide the physician substitute in the management of both minor and complex clinical problems. The discussion briefly touches on fiscal, managerial, and educational aspects of the proposed changes. 12 pp.

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