AHRQ releases first primary care workforce facts and stats series

Research Activities, January 2012, No. 377

To further inform policy discussions around the U.S. primary care workforce, AHRQ's Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships has released the first two in a series of fact sheets to provide health care policy and decisionmakers with information on:

  • The primary care workforce currently in place in the United States.
  • Its capacity to care for the current U.S. population.
  • Needed growth in this workforce to accommodate population changes and expanded health insurance coverage.

The two fact sheets available now are:

  • The Number of Practicing Primary Care Physicians in the U.S., which reports that, of the 624,434 physicians who spend the majority of their time in direct patient care, slightly less than one-third are in primary care.
  • The Number of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Practicing Primary Care in the U.S., which estimates that, in 2010, approximately 56,000 nurse practitioners and 30,000 physician assistants were practicing primary care.

AHRQ commissioned the Robert Graham Center, a non-partisan primary care policy and analysis organization, to conduct a comprehensive primary care workforce analysis that includes secondary analyses of several workforce, population, and health outcome data sources. During the coming months, AHRQ will release additional Primary Care Workforce Fact Sheets examining topics such as:

  • The distribution of the U.S. primary care workforce.
  • Patient panel sizes in primary care.
  • Primary care workforce needs due to changes in population growth, demographics, and other factors.

You can view the U.S. Primary Care Workforce Facts and Stats Series.

Current as of January 2012
Internet Citation: AHRQ releases first primary care workforce facts and stats series: Research Activities, January 2012, No. 377. January 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/jan12/0112RA33.html