Community Tracking Study Physician Survey, 1998-1999: [United States] (ICPSR 3267)

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


This study comprises the second round of the physician survey component of the Community Tracking Study (CTS) sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The CTS is a national study designed to track changes in the American 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. As in the first round of the physician survey (COMMUNITY TRACKING STUDY PHYSICIAN SURVEY, 1996-1997: [UNITED STATES] (ICPSR 2597)), the second round was administered to physicians in the 60 CTS sites and to a supplemental national sample of physicians. The survey instrument collected information on physician supply and specialty distribution, practice arrangements and physician ownership of practices, physician time allocation, sources of practice revenue, level and determinants of physician compensation, provision of charity care, career satisfaction, physicians' perceptions of their ability to deliver care, views on care management strategies, and various other aspects of physicians' practice of medicine. In addition, primary care physicians (PCPs) were asked to recommend courses of action in response to some vignettes of clinical presentations for which there was no prescribed method of treatment.

Dataset 3, the Site and County Crosswalk Data File, identifies the counties that constitute each CTS site.

Dataset 4, the Physician Survey Summary File, contains site-level estimates and standard errors of the estimates for selected physician characteristics, e.g., the percentage of physicians who were foreign medical school graduates, the mean age of physicians, and the mean percentage of patient care practice revenue from Medicaid.

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.

  • Health and Medical Care Archive

    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.


DS1:  Public-Use Version of the Main Data File - Download All Files (4.977 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  Restricted-Use Version of the Main Data File - Download All Files (10.184 MB)

ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS3:  Site and County Crosswalk Data File - Download All Files (0.429 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS4:  Physician Survey Summary File - Download All Files (0.866 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Center for Studying Health System Change. Community Tracking Study Physician Survey, 1998-1999: [United States] . ICPSR03267-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-02-02.

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:   

  • 1998--1999

Date of Collection:   

  • 1998--1999

Universe:    Physicians practicing in the 48 states of the contiguous United States who provided direct patient care for at least 20 hours per week and were not federal employees, specialists in fields in which the primary focus was not direct patient care, or graduates of foreign medical schools who were only temporarily licensed to practice in the United States. Residents, interns, and fellows were excluded.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

For additional information about this study see 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, which was selected using stratified random sampling, was included in the survey in order 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. For both the site and supplemental samples, the sampling design involved randomly selecting physicians who were part of the Round 1 survey and physicians who were not covered by Round 1. Thus, about 58 percent of the Round 2 respondents also participated in Round 1. PCPs were oversampled in the site sample.

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

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:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2001-10-22

Version History:

  • 2009-02-02 Stata setups produced by ICPSR were added to the collection.
  • 2004-02-24 The user guide for the restricted-use version of the main data file has been revised. As noted on the "What's New" page in the guide, there are minor changes to the text related to the recommended SUDAAN parameters.
  • 2002-03-01 The user guides for the public- and restricted-use versions of the main data file have been revised. A discussion was added about how to pool data from Round 1 and Round 2 in order to increase sample size. In addition, the data definition statements have been enhanced.

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