Study Finds Oversupply of US Doctors

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AMERICA has too many doctors, medical colleges should reduce class size, and no public funds should be spent for new schools of medicine, says a study released Jan. 23.

The Institute of Medicine, an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, says the nation needs to reduce the number of US medical students and to put limitations on the training and entry into practice of medical graduates from foreign countries.

This study, which found that the number of doctors in the US had doubled between 1970 and 1992, follows one last fall that recommended closing 20 percent of medical schools in the US over the next decade because of a surplus of doctors and nurses.

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''Yet for all this growth we have seen too little improvement in the cost or quality of, or access to, health care,'' says Don Detmer, senior vice president of the University of Virginia and a co-chairman of the panel.

Under the current system, hospitals are compensated by the federal government for every medical resident they train. The institute panel says this link needs to be broken.

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