Privacy Policy

National Studies of Physicians from Twenty-four Medical and Surgical Specialties, 1976-1978 (ICPSR 7782) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):


This study was conducted in order to gather detailed specialty-specific data for most of the physician population of the United States. Each member of sample groups of physicians in each of 24 specialty areas completed numerically coded "log diaries" (self-enumerated questionnaires) over the course of one week during the survey data gathering period of 1976-1978. With the information obtained from the log diaries, three data files containing detailed information on the activities of the physicians surveyed and on the characteristics of their practices were prepared for each of the 24 specialty areas: allergy, cardiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, endocrinology, family practice, gastroenterology, general practice, general surgery, hematology, infectious diseases, internal medicine, nephrology, neurological surgery, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, otorhinolaryngology, pediatrics, psychiatry, pulmonary diseases, and rheumatology. As a result, there are 71 discrete datafiles in this dataset (emergency medicine has only two files). Parts 1-24 contain detailed information about each physician's medical or surgical practice, e.g., specialty, major professional activity, board certifications, type of practice, physician's opinion concerning distribution of specialties in the community, number of hours per week worked and in what capacity, and type of employees in physician's practice and number of hours worked. Parts 28-48 contain data on each patient the physician saw in person during the week in which he or she kept the log diary. Parts 49-71 hold the data derived from each encounter the physician had via telephone with a patient during the same period. The data in the latter two groups of files contain patient age, sex, problem focus, role, source, and diagnoses.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: Because this study has many datasets, the download all files option has been suppressed, and you will need to download one dataset at a time.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Physician Summary File, Allergy (AXX) - Download All Files (14.4 MB)
DS2:  Physician Summary File, Cardiology (CDX) - Download All Files (15.9 MB)
DS3:  Physician Summary File, Dermatology (DXX) - Download All Files (6.3 MB)
DS4:  Physician Summary File, Emergency Medicine (EMX) - Download All Files (14.6 MB)
DS5:  Physician Summary File, Endocrinology (END) - Download All Files (15.3 MB)
DS6:  Physician Summary File, Family Practice (FPX) - Download All Files (19.5 MB)
DS7:  Physician Summary File, Gastroenterology (GEX) - Download All Files (14.4 MB)
DS8:  Physician Summary File, General Practice (GPX) - Download All Files (15.9 MB)
DS9:  Physician Summary File, General Surgery (GSX) - Download All Files (17.5 MB)
DS10:  Physician Summary File, Hematology (HEM) - Download All Files (15.4 MB)
DS11:  Physician Summary File, Infectious Disease (IDX) - Download All Files (13.6 MB)
DS12:  Physician Summary File, Internal Medicine (IMX) - Download All Files (19.8 MB)
DS13:  Physician Summary File, Nephrology (NEP) - Download All Files (14.7 MB)
DS14:  Physician Summary File, Neurological Surgery (NSX) - Download All Files (17.1 MB)
DS15:  Physician Summary File, Neurology (NXX) - Download All Files (15.7 MB)
DS16:  Physician Summary File, Obstetrics/Gynecology (OBG) - Download All Files (21.5 MB)
DS17:  Physician Summary File, Oncology (ONC/ONX) - Download All Files (15 MB)
DS18:  Physician Summary File, Ophthalmology (OPH) - Download All Files (18.5 MB)
DS19:  Physician Summary File, Orthopaedic Surgery (ORS) - Download All Files (19.2 MB)
DS20:  Physician Summary File, Otorhinolaryngology (OTO) - Download All Files (14.5 MB)
DS21:  Physician Summary File, Pediatrics (PDX) - Download All Files (9.5 MB)
DS22:  Physician Summary File, Psychiatry (PXX) - Download All Files (19.1 MB)
DS23:  Physician Summary File, Pulmonary Disease (PUD) - Download All Files (15.4 MB)
DS24:  Physician Summary File, Rheumatology (RHU) - Download All Files (15.9 MB)
DS25:  Patient Encounter File, Allergy (AXX) - Download All Files (17.7 MB)
DS26:  Patient Encounter File, Cardiology (CDX) - Download All Files (16.5 MB)
DS27:  Patient Encounter File, Dermatology (DXX) - Download All Files (7.3 MB)
DS28:  Patient Encounter File, Emergency Medicine (EMX) - Download All Files (14.5 MB)
DS29:  Patient Encounter File, Endocrinology (END) - Download All Files (13.4 MB)
DS30:  Patient Encounter File, Family Practice (FPX) - Download All Files (37.2 MB)
DS31:  Patient Encounter File, Gastroenterology (GEX) - Download All Files (13.2 MB)
DS32:  Patient Encounter File, General Practice (GPX) - Download All Files (26.4 MB)
DS33:  Patient Encounter File, General Surgery (GSX) - Download All Files (16.9 MB)
DS34:  Patient Encounter File, Hematology (HEM) - Download All Files (14.8 MB)
DS35:  Patient Encounter File, Infectious Diseases (IDX) - Download All Files (8.5 MB)
DS36:  Patient Encounter File, Internal Medicine (IMX) - Download All Files (37.7 MB)
DS37:  Patient Encounter File, Nephrology (NEP) - Download All Files (16.2 MB)
DS38:  Patient Encounter File, Neurological Surgery (NSX) - Download All Files (19.3 MB)
DS39:  Patient Encounter File, Neurology (NXX) - Download All Files (11.1 MB)
DS40:  Patient Encounter File, Obstetrics/Gynecology (OBG) - Download All Files (39.1 MB)
DS41:  Patient Encounter File, Oncology (ONC/ONX) - Download All Files (14.6 MB)
DS42:  Patient Encounter File, Ophthalmology (OPH) - Download All Files (18.7 MB)
DS43:  Patient Encounter File, Orthopaedic Surgery (ORS) - Download All Files (21.1 MB)
DS44:  Patient Encounter File, Otorhinolaryngology (OTO) - Download All Files (17.9 MB)
DS45:  Patient Encounter File, Pediatrics (PDX) - Download All Files (30.4 MB)
DS46:  Patient Encounter File, Psychiatry (PXX) - Download All Files (17.2 MB)
DS47:  Patient Encounter File, Pulmonary Diseases (PUD) - Download All Files (11.9 MB)
DS48:  Patient Encounter File, Rheumatology (RHU) - Download All Files (15.7 MB)
DS49:  Telephone Encounter File, Allergy (AXX) - Download All Files (7.4 MB)
DS50:  Telephone Encounter File, Cardiology (CDX) - Download All Files (5.6 MB)
DS51:  Telephone Encounter File, Dermatology (DXX) - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
DS52:  Telephone Encounter File, Endocrinology (END) - Download All Files (6 MB)
DS53:  Telephone Encounter File, Family Practice (FPX) - Download All Files (7.1 MB)
DS54:  Telephone Encounter File, Gastroenterology (GEX) - Download All Files (5.5 MB)
DS55:  Telephone Encounter File, General Practice (GPX) - Download All Files (6.3 MB)
DS56:  Telephone Encounter File, General Surgery (GSX) - Download All Files (5.9 MB)
DS57:  Telephone Encounter File, Hematology (HEM) - Download All Files (5.8 MB)
DS58:  Telephone Encounter File, Infectious Diseases (IDX) - Download All Files (5.6 MB)
DS59:  Telephone Encounter File, Internal Medicine (IMX) - Download All Files (7.6 MB)
DS60:  Telephone Encounter File, Nephrology (NEP) - Download All Files (6 MB)
DS61:  Telephone Encounter File, Neurological Surgery (NSX) - Download All Files (6.2 MB)
DS62:  Telephone Encounter File, Neurology (NXX) - Download All Files (6 MB)
DS63:  Telephone Encounter File, Obstetrics/Gynecology (OBG) - Download All Files (8.2 MB)
DS64:  Telephone Encounter File, Oncology (ONC/ONX) - Download All Files (6 MB)
DS65:  Telephone Encounter File, Ophthalmology (OPH) - Download All Files (7.9 MB)
DS66:  Telephone Encounter File, Orthopaedic Surgery (ORS) - Download All Files (6.6 MB)
DS67:  Telephone Encounter File, Otorhinolaryngology (OTO) - Download All Files (5.2 MB)
DS68:  Telephone Encounter File, Pediatrics (PDX) - Download All Files (4.8 MB)
DS69:  Telephone Encounter File, Psychiatry (PXX) - Download All Files (7.1 MB)
DS70:  Telephone Encounter File, Pulmonary Diseases (PUD) - Download All Files (5.8 MB)
DS71:  Telephone Encounter File, Rheumatology (RHU) - Download All Files (6.4 MB)

Study Description


University of Southern California. School of Medicine. Division of Research in Medical Education. National Studies of Physicians from Twenty-four Medical and Surgical Specialties, 1976-1978. ICPSR07782-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1982.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (5431)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   ambulatory care, certification, doctor visits, health care services, job history, medical evaluation, medicine, occupations, patients, physicians, public health, treatment, work environment, working hours

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1976--1978

Date of Collection:  

  • 1976--1978

Universe:   All active, non-federal physicians (excluding interns) in the United States who could be classified by the American Medical Association's Physician Masterfile according to major professional activity.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The specialty, emergency medicine, has only two files because no patient telephone contacts were made due to the nature of that specialty.

Research methods, including study purposes, detailed descriptions of the study instrument, and sampling strategy and methods, can be found in the two-part JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) article entitled "A National Study of Medical and Surgical Specialties" (see RELATED.PUBS).

The docoumentation (including codebooks for Parts 1-24 which are not available on-line) are available on microfiche cards with four fiche cards per specialty, enabling users to request one or all of the 24 specialties from ICPSR User Services.


Sample:   In the stratified random sample, the number of physicians sampled ranged from approximately 150 to 900 per specialty, the number of recorded patient encounters ranged from approximately 3,000 to 36,000 per specialty, and the number of telephone contacts with patients ranged from approximately 700 to 11,000 per specialty.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File DOC7782.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

Related Publications


Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics