The Journal of Medical Regulation has published the "Census of Actively Licensed Physicians in the United States, 2014," which provides an analysis of the most recent physician licensure data collected from each of the state medical boards in the United States by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).
Key findings of the 2014 Census include:
• The total population of licensed physicians (916,264) has increased by 4% since 2012.
• The nation, on average, added 12,168 more licensed physicians annually than it lost between 2012 and 2014.
• The average physician is now older and still predominantly male, but increasingly female at entry level.
• The number of actively licensed physicians who graduated from international medical schools, particularly those in the Caribbean region, is growing.
The 2014 Census, the FSMB's third such census of actively licensed physicians, includes information on an array of physician licensure information. In aggregate, the information offers a current snapshot of the health care workforce, including the number, gender, age, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certification and location by state of all physicians with an active license to practice medicine.
Other articles in this issue of the Journal of Medical Regulation include:
• Professional Sexual Misconduct: The Role of the Polygraph in Independent Comprehensive Evaluation. A.J. Reid Finlayson, MD, et al, studied the impact of polygraph results in state medical board disciplinary proceedings, finding that the polygraph can be a useful component when evaluating cases of sexual misconduct by physicians.
• State Medical Boards' Self Examination: Analysis from Oregon Data 2009-2012. Kathleen Haley, JD, and Kimberly Fisher, JD, summarized the findings of a review by the Oregon Medical Board to determine whether the Board's use of sanctions against physicians was being conducted consistently. The authors suggest that regulatory agencies should engage in self-examination periodically.
• A Call for Differential Diagnosis of Non-specific Low Back Pain to Reduce Opioid Abuse. Michael C. Barnes, JD, et al, examined the impact of misdiagnosis and improper treatment of chronic low back pain, suggesting the need for differential diagnosis and better education about chronic low back pain among health care practitioners.
Federation of State Medical Boards