Health Tracking Physician Survey, 2008 [United States] (ICPSR 27202)

Version Date: Aug 17, 2010 View help for published

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


Version V1

The 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey (HTPS) is the successor to the Community Tracking Study (CTS) Physician Surveys which were conducted in 1996-1997 (ICPSR 2597), 1998-1999 (ICPSR 3267), 2000-2001 (ICPSR 3820), and 2004-2005 (ICPSR 4584). Unlike the previous surveys, HTPS does not have the community focus intrinsic to CTS. Whereas the CTS design focused on 60 nationally representative communities with sample sizes large enough to draw conclusions about health system change in 12 communities, the HTPS design is a national sample not aimed at measuring change within communities. Hence, "Community" was dropped from the study title. Administered to a nationally representative sample of United States physicians providing direct patient care, HTPS collected information on physician characteristics and specialty distribution; career satisfaction; practice arrangements and ownership; financial interest in medical equipment and hospitals; and physician time allocation, including hours worked, number of office visits, time spent communicating with patients via e-mail and telephone, and provision of charity care. The survey also collected information about the racial and Hispanic-origin composition of patients; percent of patients with chronic conditions; percent of patients with a language barrier; use of interpreter services; sources of practice revenue; level and determinants of physician compensation; use of health information technology; physicians' perception of their ability to deliver care; effects of disease management programs and formal practice guidelines; extent of care coordination; malpractice concerns; and various other aspects of physicians' practice of medicine.

Center for Studying Health System Change. Health Tracking Physician Survey, 2008 [United States]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-08-17.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (57046)

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.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2008-02 -- 2008-10
  1. Estimates from the 2008 survey should not be compared to estimates from the preceding CTS Physician Surveys because of changes in the survey administration mode from telephone to mail, question wording, skip patterns, sampling design, and population represented.

  2. Most questions ask about physician status at the time of the interview (Feb. 2008-Oct. 2008), while some questions are retrospective (e.g. questions about income refer to the full year 2006).

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

The respondents were selected using stratified random sampling. Divided into 20 strata (10 regions cross-classified by primary care/not primary physician type), the sample frame was derived from a list of physicians provided by the American Medical Association.

Physicians practicing in the 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. Radiologists, anesthesiologists, and pathologists were excluded.

The weighted response rate is 61.9 percent.



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:
  • Center for Studying Health System Change. Health Tracking Physician Survey, 2008 [United States]. ICPSR27202-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-02-16.

2010-08-17 The principal investigator revised the table heading in Appendix B of the public- and restricted-use user guides.

2010-02-16 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.

There is only one weight variable, WEIGHT, which adjusts for probability of selection and differential survey nonresponse.



  • The 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.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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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.