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.

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.

WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Physician Summary File, Allergy (AXX) - Download All Files (14,416 KB)
DS2:  Physician Summary File, Cardiology (CDX) - Download All Files (15,899 KB)
DS3:  Physician Summary File, Dermatology (DXX) - Download All Files (6,309 KB)
DS4:  Physician Summary File, Emergency Medicine (EMX) - Download All Files (14,641 KB)
DS5:  Physician Summary File, Endocrinology (END) - Download All Files (15,317 KB)
DS6:  Physician Summary File, Family Practice (FPX) - Download All Files (19,523 KB)
DS7:  Physician Summary File, Gastroenterology (GEX) - Download All Files (14,405 KB)
DS8:  Physician Summary File, General Practice (GPX) - Download All Files (15,873 KB)
DS9:  Physician Summary File, General Surgery (GSX) - Download All Files (17,491 KB)
DS10:  Physician Summary File, Hematology (HEM) - Download All Files (15,428 KB)
DS11:  Physician Summary File, Infectious Disease (IDX) - Download All Files (13,585 KB)
DS12:  Physician Summary File, Internal Medicine (IMX) - Download All Files (19,785 KB)
DS13:  Physician Summary File, Nephrology (NEP) - Download All Files (14,718 KB)
DS14:  Physician Summary File, Neurological Surgery (NSX) - Download All Files (17,115 KB)
DS15:  Physician Summary File, Neurology (NXX) - Download All Files (15,651 KB)
DS16:  Physician Summary File, Obstetrics/Gynecology (OBG) - Download All Files (21,515 KB)
DS17:  Physician Summary File, Oncology (ONC/ONX) - Download All Files (15,029 KB)
DS18:  Physician Summary File, Ophthalmology (OPH) - Download All Files (18,457 KB)
DS19:  Physician Summary File, Orthopaedic Surgery (ORS) - Download All Files (19,190 KB)
DS20:  Physician Summary File, Otorhinolaryngology (OTO) - Download All Files (14,518 KB)
DS21:  Physician Summary File, Pediatrics (PDX) - Download All Files (9,480 KB)
DS22:  Physician Summary File, Psychiatry (PXX) - Download All Files (19,086 KB)
DS23:  Physician Summary File, Pulmonary Disease (PUD) - Download All Files (15,435 KB)
DS24:  Physician Summary File, Rheumatology (RHU) - Download All Files (15,905 KB)
DS25:  Patient Encounter File, Allergy (AXX) - Download All Files (17,706 KB)
DS26:  Patient Encounter File, Cardiology (CDX) - Download All Files (16,549 KB)
DS27:  Patient Encounter File, Dermatology (DXX) - Download All Files (7,292 KB)
DS28:  Patient Encounter File, Emergency Medicine (EMX) - Download All Files (14,514 KB)
DS29:  Patient Encounter File, Endocrinology (END) - Download All Files (13,425 KB)
DS30:  Patient Encounter File, Family Practice (FPX) - Download All Files (37,175 KB)
DS31:  Patient Encounter File, Gastroenterology (GEX) - Download All Files (13,155 KB)
DS32:  Patient Encounter File, General Practice (GPX) - Download All Files (26,425 KB)
DS33:  Patient Encounter File, General Surgery (GSX) - Download All Files (16,858 KB)
DS34:  Patient Encounter File, Hematology (HEM) - Download All Files (14,815 KB)
DS35:  Patient Encounter File, Infectious Diseases (IDX) - Download All Files (8,537 KB)
DS36:  Patient Encounter File, Internal Medicine (IMX) - Download All Files (37,697 KB)
DS37:  Patient Encounter File, Nephrology (NEP) - Download All Files (16,194 KB)
DS38:  Patient Encounter File, Neurological Surgery (NSX) - Download All Files (19,319 KB)
DS39:  Patient Encounter File, Neurology (NXX) - Download All Files (11,056 KB)
DS40:  Patient Encounter File, Obstetrics/Gynecology (OBG) - Download All Files (39,095 KB)
DS41:  Patient Encounter File, Oncology (ONC/ONX) - Download All Files (14,606 KB)
DS42:  Patient Encounter File, Ophthalmology (OPH) - Download All Files (18,735 KB)
DS43:  Patient Encounter File, Orthopaedic Surgery (ORS) - Download All Files (21,134 KB)
DS44:  Patient Encounter File, Otorhinolaryngology (OTO) - Download All Files (17,870 KB)
DS45:  Patient Encounter File, Pediatrics (PDX) - Download All Files (30,443 KB)
DS46:  Patient Encounter File, Psychiatry (PXX) - Download All Files (17,246 KB)
DS47:  Patient Encounter File, Pulmonary Diseases (PUD) - Download All Files (11,937 KB)
DS48:  Patient Encounter File, Rheumatology (RHU) - Download All Files (15,707 KB)
DS49:  Telephone Encounter File, Allergy (AXX) - Download All Files (7,425 KB)
DS50:  Telephone Encounter File, Cardiology (CDX) - Download All Files (5,602 KB)
DS51:  Telephone Encounter File, Dermatology (DXX) - Download All Files (2,300 KB)
DS52:  Telephone Encounter File, Endocrinology (END) - Download All Files (6,024 KB)
DS53:  Telephone Encounter File, Family Practice (FPX) - Download All Files (7,079 KB)
DS54:  Telephone Encounter File, Gastroenterology (GEX) - Download All Files (5,499 KB)
DS55:  Telephone Encounter File, General Practice (GPX) - Download All Files (6,303 KB)
DS56:  Telephone Encounter File, General Surgery (GSX) - Download All Files (5,918 KB)
DS57:  Telephone Encounter File, Hematology (HEM) - Download All Files (5,757 KB)
DS58:  Telephone Encounter File, Infectious Diseases (IDX) - Download All Files (5,626 KB)
DS59:  Telephone Encounter File, Internal Medicine (IMX) - Download All Files (7,578 KB)
DS60:  Telephone Encounter File, Nephrology (NEP) - Download All Files (5,967 KB)
DS61:  Telephone Encounter File, Neurological Surgery (NSX) - Download All Files (6,160 KB)
DS62:  Telephone Encounter File, Neurology (NXX) - Download All Files (5,986 KB)
DS63:  Telephone Encounter File, Obstetrics/Gynecology (OBG) - Download All Files (8,209 KB)
DS64:  Telephone Encounter File, Oncology (ONC/ONX) - Download All Files (5,952 KB)
DS65:  Telephone Encounter File, Ophthalmology (OPH) - Download All Files (7,930 KB)
DS66:  Telephone Encounter File, Orthopaedic Surgery (ORS) - Download All Files (6,647 KB)
DS67:  Telephone Encounter File, Otorhinolaryngology (OTO) - Download All Files (5,221 KB)
DS68:  Telephone Encounter File, Pediatrics (PDX) - Download All Files (4,820 KB)
DS69:  Telephone Encounter File, Psychiatry (PXX) - Download All Files (7,085 KB)
DS70:  Telephone Encounter File, Pulmonary Diseases (PUD) - Download All Files (5,757 KB)
DS71:  Telephone Encounter File, Rheumatology (RHU) - Download All Files (6,362 KB)

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. doi:10.3886/ICPSR07782.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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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.

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