Community Tracking Study Physician Survey, 2004-2005: [United States] (ICPSR 4584)

Principal Investigator(s): Center for Studying Health System Change


This is the fourth round of the physician survey component of the Community Tracking Study (CTS). The first round was conducted in 1996-1997 (ICPSR 2597), the second round in 1998-1999 (ICPSR 3267), and the third in 2000-2001 (ICPSR 3820). Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the CTS is a large-scale investigation of changes in the American health care system and their effects on people. As in the previous rounds, physicians were sampled in the 60 CTS sites: 51 metropolitan and 9 nonmetropolitan areas that were randomly selected to form the core of the CTS and to be representative of the nation as a whole. However, the fourth round lacks an independent supplemental national sample of physicians, which augmented the CTS site sample in the previous rounds. Information collected by the survey includes net income from the practice of medicine, year of birth, sex, race, Hispanic origin, year of graduation from medical school, specialty, board certification status, compensation model, patient mix (e.g., race/Hispanic origin of patients and percent with chronic conditions), career satisfaction, practice type, size, and ownership, percent of practice revenue from Medicare, Medicaid, or managed care, acceptance of new Medicaid and Medicare patients and, if applicable, reasons for not accepting them, use of information technology for care management, number of patient visits and hours worked in medically related activities during the last complete week of work, and the number of hours spent providing charity care in the last month. In addition, the survey elicited views on a number of issues such as patient-physician interactions, competition among practices, the influence of financial incentives on the quantity of services provided to patients, trends in the amount and quality of nursing support, one's ability to provide quality care and obtain needed services for patients, and the importance of various factors that may limit the quality of care. Part 3, the Site and County Crosswalk Data File, identifies the counties that constitute each CTS site. Part 4, Physician Survey Summary File, contains site-level estimates and standard errors for selected physician characteristics, e.g., the average age of physicians, the average percentage of patients with a formulary, and the percentage of physicians who said medical errors in hospitals are a minor problem.

Series: Community Tracking Study Series

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    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.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS1:  Public-Use Version of the Main Data File - Download All Files (4.024 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  Restricted-Use Version of the Main Data File - Download All Files (8.984 MB)

ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS3:  Site and County Crosswalk Data File - Download All Files (0.376 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS4:  Physician Survey Summary File - Download All Files (0.989 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Center for Studying Health System Change. Community Tracking Study Physician Survey, 2004-2005: [United States]. ICPSR04584-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-05-14.

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This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    communities, health care delivery, health care facilities, health care services, medical specializations, patient care, physician patient relationship, physician practice, physicians

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2004--2005

Date of Collection:   

  • 2004--2005

Universe:    Physicians practicing in the contiguous United States who provided direct patient care for at least 20 hours per week. The survey excluded federal employees, specialists in fields in which the primary focus was not direct patient care, graduates of foreign medical schools who were only temporarily licensed to practice in the United States, physicians who had not completed their medical training (residents, interns, and fellows), and physicians who requested of the American Medical Association (AMA) that their names not be released to outsiders.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

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


Sample:    Based on a sampling frame derived from the AMA Masterfile (which includes non-AMA members) and the American Osteopathic Association membership file, the sample design involved randomly selecting both physicians who were interviewed by the third round of the CTS Physician Survey and physicians who were not included in earlier rounds of the survey. Among the 6,628 physicians who were interviewed in round four, 4,428 also responded to round three. Only those physicians whose mailing address fell within the boundary of one of the 60 sites were selected for the survey.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)


Original ICPSR Release:   2006-10-25

Version History:

  • 2008-05-14 Stata setups were added to the collection. In addition, a missing value label for variable AP1 was added to the SPSS setup for the Restricted-Use Version of the Main Data File.

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