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This study examines the implications of the retention behavior of Air Force volunteer physicians on the Air Force's physician procurement policy. It examines the potential of the volunteer program to become a major and, perhaps, the principal source of physicians based on the retention behavior of volunteer physician accessions from FY 1975 to FY 1982. The analysis suggests that about one-half of the FY 1987 authorized Air Force physician stock might be supported by the direct recruiting program for all groups except medical subspecialists. Predicted retention varies by specialty group, training,and grade (age): (1) young board-certified surgeons and obstetricians, both U.S.- and foreign-trained, are least likely to be retained under current conditions and are most responsive to an increase in military pay; (2) foreign-trained hospital-based physicians without board certification have the highest predicted retention rate; (3) foreign-trained subspecialists and surgeons are retained at a lower rate than U.S.-trained physicians in this group; and (4) volunteer retention increases with the physician's military grade.

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