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.
Active Physicians per 10,000 Civilian Population, Utah and U.S., 2005-2015
The ratio of active physicians to persons in the Utah population has been lower than the U.S. ratio for all years reported.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Center for Health Statistics
Data NotesIncludes active doctors of medicine (MDs) and active doctors of osteopathy (DOs). Starting with 2003 data, federal and non-federal physicians are included. Data prior to 2003 included non-federal physicians only. Active (or professionally active) physicians are defined as those 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.
Data from National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2016.
How Are We Doing?In 2016, the ratio of primary care physicians to population varied between Utah's 13 local health districts (LHDs) from 12.6 per 10,000 in Summit County Health District to 2.2 in Tooele County Health District. This ratio varied among Utah's 29 counties from 12.6 per 10,000 people in Summit and 12.5 in Grand County to 0 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.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Department of Health, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH) administers multiple programs to assist in the recruitment and retention of physicians to rural and underserved communities in Utah.
Two state funded programs, the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program and the Health Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program, offer student loan repayment to physicians, dentists, and mid-level providers in exchange for working in underserved areas.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) also administers loan repayment and scholarship programs to healthcare providers who work in rural and/or federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The Primary Care Office (PCO), within the OPCRH, evaluates the health professional shortages in the state and submits applications to receive a federal HPSA designation. The PCO also coordinates the NHSC programs for the state.
The OPCRH coordinates the Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program which recruits foreign trained physicians to practice in underserved communities in the state.
The OPCRH also supports 3RNet, a job board for healthcare providers to be matched with rural and underserved facilities that are actively recruiting providers.
Healthy People Objective: (Developmental) Increase the number of practicing medical doctorsU.S. Target: Developmental
Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/31/2018