This study is maintained and distributed by the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA). HMCA is the official data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Community Tracking Study Physician Survey, 1996-1997: [United States] (ICPSR 2597)

Principal Investigator(s):


Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this survey is one component of the Community Tracking Study (CTS), a national study designed to track changes in the health care system and the effects of the changes on care delivery and on individuals. Central to the design of the CTS is its community focus. Sixty sites (51 metropolitan areas and 9 nonmetropolitan areas) were randomly selected to form the core of the CTS and to be representative of the nation as a whole. The Physician Survey was administered to physicians in the 60 CTS sites and to a supplemental national sample of physicians. Information gathered by the survey instrument includes physician supply and specialty distribution, practice arrangements and physician ownership of practices, sources of practice revenue, level and determinants of physician compensation, effects of care management strategies, and physicians' allocation of time, provision of charity care, career satisfaction, and perceptions of their ability to deliver care. For primary care physicians, the survey instrument also provided vignettes of various clinical presentations for which there was no prescribed method of treatment. These physicians were asked to indicate the percentage of patients for whom they would recommend the course of action specified in each particular vignette. Part 3, the Site and County Crosswalk Data File, describes which counties constitute each site. Part 4, the Physician Survey Summary File, contains site-level averages and percentages and standard errors of these estimates for selected attributes, e.g., the percentage of physicians who were foreign medical school graduates, average age of physicians, average percentage of patient care practice revenue from Medicaid, etc.

Series: Community Tracking Study Series

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access. (Instructions on YouTube.)

    As explained in the technical documentation, some variables are restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.


DS1:  Public-Use Version of the Main Data File - Download All Files (4.6 MB)
DS2:  Restricted-Use Version of the Main Data File - Download All Files (9.4 MB)
DS3:  Site and County Crosswalk Data File - Download All Files (0.3 MB)
DS4:  Physician Survey Summary File - Download All Files (0.7 MB)

Study Description


Center for Studying Health System Change. Community Tracking Study Physician Survey, 1996-1997: [United States]. ICPSR02597-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-11-17.

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 (29275)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   career expectations, career goals, communities, counties, health care delivery, health care facilities, health care services, medical specializations, patient care, physician practice, physicians

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1996-08--1997-08

Date of Collection:  

  • 1996-08--1997-08

Universe:   Physicians who were practicing in the contiguous United States, were providing direct patient care for at least 20 hours per week, and were not federal employees. Residents and fellows, as well as physicians in selected specialties, were excluded.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

More information about this study can be found on the Web site of the Center for Studying Health System Change.


Sample:   The CTS sites were selected using stratified sampling with probability proportional to population size. The supplemental sample, selected with stratified random sampling, was included in the survey to increase the precision of national estimates. The sample frame was developed by combining lists of physicians from the American Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association.

Data Source:

survey data


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2011-11-17 ICPSR added Stata setups to this collection.
  • 2001-12-21 (1) Data and documentation for the Restricted-Use Version of the Main Data File (Part 2) have been updated. Several variables were revised and other variables have been added or deleted. For a complete description of the changes, see the "What's New" page in the user guide for Part 2. (2) The codebook for the Site and County Crosswalk Data File (Part 3) has been revised. (3) SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been prepared for Parts 3 and 4.
  • 1999-11-02 A restricted-use version of the main data file has been added to the collection as Part 2, the Site and County Crosswalk Data File has been added as Part 3, and the Physician Survey Summary File has been added as Part 4. To obtain the restricted-use file, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement.

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