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Important Facts for Physician Supply


This Indicator Report includes two measures of physician supply: [[br]] 1) Active physicians per 10,000 civilian population.[[br]] 2) Primary care physicians per 10,000 civilian population.


1) Number of active physicians.[[br]] 2) Number of primary care physicians.


Civilian population.

Data Interpretation Issues

This indicator includes two measures of physician supply: 1) 'Active Physicians' are defined as those physicians currently engaged in patient care or other professional activity for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Other professional activity includes administration, medical teaching, research, and more. This measure has been reported by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and the Congress of the United Stated in the annual report, the most recent of which is 'Health, United States 2016'. Data are based on reporting by physicians. 2) 'Primary Care Physicians' include non-federal M.D.s and D.O.s under age 75 who are not hospital residents and whose major professional activity is patient care in General Practice; General Family Medicine; General Internal Medicine; or General Pediatrics. This information comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Area Health Resource File (AHRF) that utilizes the American Medical Association Physician Masterfiles.

Why Is This Important?

The ratio of physicians to persons in a population is an indication of the adequacy of the health system and the access to care for persons in that population.

Healthy People Objective AHS-4.1:

(Developmental) Increase the number of practicing medical doctors
U.S. Target: Developmental

How Are We Doing?

The supply of active physicians in Utah has kept up with growth in the Utah population; however, access is also influenced by the availability of doctors by specialty areas and geographic area. In 2015, the ratio of primary care physicians to population varied between Utah's 13 local health districts (LHDs) from 11.6 per 10,000 in Summit County Health District to 2.4 in Tooele County Health District. This ratio varied among Utah's 29 counties from 12.6 in Grand County to zero in Daggett, Piute, and Rich Counties. It must be kept in mind that primary care physicians are classified by county, but physicians who practice in multiple locations may see patients who reside in surrounding counties.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The ratio of active physicians to persons in the Utah population has been lower than the U.S. ratio for all years reported. In 2013, there were 29.4 active physicians per 10,000 population in the U.S. compared to 22.6 per 10,000 in Utah. In 2015, the ratio of primary care physicians to population was also lower in Utah (5.74 per 10,000) when compared to the U.S. (7.55 per 10,000).

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Department of Health, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health, State Primary Care Grant Program has awarded to 57 rural and urban agencies the amount of $3,000,917 to provide primary care, mental health, dental care services and referral services in FY16-17. The Department administers programs to improve access to care, such as CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), PCN (Primary Care Network), Utah's Premium Partnership for Health Insurance (UPP), and Medicaid.
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 15 October 2018 7:49:46 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 9 Jan 2018 13:10:43 MST