National Survey of Rural Physicians, 1993 (ICPSR 6848)

Published: Sep 15, 1999 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Curt D. Mueller, Project Hope Center for Health Affairs

Version V1

The purpose of this survey was to examine various dimensions of physician availability in rural areas and their impact on access to care. Rural physicians provided information on the characteristics of their current practice setting, such as type of practice arrangement (solo practice, owner/part owner of group practice, employed by another physician or group of physicians, employed by a hospital, community or migrant health center, HMO, or the federal government, or some other arrangement), number of physician and nonphysician personnel in the practice, and number of patient visits. Respondents supplied the number of hours spent providing patient care and traveling to provide care during the most recent complete work week, percentage of time spent providing primary care services, and the usual fee for an office visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient that required a detailed examination, medical decision-making of moderate complexity, and 25 minutes of time face-to-face with the patient (CPT code 99214). Additional topics covered whether the practice had a contract with a preferred provider organization (PPO), a capitated managed care plan such as a health maintenance organization (HMO), or an independent practice association (IPA), and the percentage of the practice's revenue that came from Medicaid, PPOs for privately insured patients, IPAs or HMOs for privately insured patients, and Medicare. The physicians were also asked about plans to expand or reduce their practice, the amount of debt from medical education they carried when they first went to work for the rural practice, and whether working at a rural practice fulfilled a service obligation in exchange for some or all of the debt from their medical education. Respondents' opinions were sought on their practice, the community in which it was located, and on health care reform. Other information gathered by the survey included location of the practice, the year the respondent first went to work for the practice, and the respondent's primary specialty, board certification(s), hospital admitting privileges, marital status, income, race, and Hispanic origin.

Mueller, Curt D. National Survey of Rural Physicians, 1993. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999-09-15.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (20001)

As explained in the ICPSR Processing Note in the codebook, 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.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

ICPSR did not receive the data from the third component of this study, the universe of "crisis area" physicians.

Three subgroups of physicians were surveyed: (1) a general probability sample of all practicing rural physicians, (2) a general probability sample of "young" practicing rural physicians, defined as rural physicians under the age of 40, and (3) the universe of practicing physicians from "crisis area" counties, defined as 170 rural counties with the fewest number of physicians per capita in 1990.

Physicians practicing at least 20 hours a week in 1,445 counties not contiguous to metropolitan areas where fewer than 20,000 of the county's residents resided in urban areas in 1988.

self-enumerated questionnaires

survey data



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Mueller, Curt D. National Survey of Rural Physicians, 1993. ICPSR06848-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999.


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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.