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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1999 Feb 10;119(4):541-4.

[Is shortage of medical practitioners only a question of numbers? A phenomenologic approach to the scarcity of physicians in a county].

[Article in Norwegian]

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SINTEF Unimed, Norsk institutt for sykehusforskning, Trondheim.


This paper presents a qualitative study of the employment of medical doctors in Møre and Romsdal County. On the basis of the fact that Norway has more physicians in relation to the population than other Northern European countries, we try to explore the reality behind the excessive demand for physicians? On the basis of interviews with physicians in hospitals and primary health care, we suggest four categories of explanations. First, areas with low population density experience a traditional scarcity of doctors. Second, a scarcity of doctors is locally constructed in municipalities with no excessive demand from patients for medical aid, but with vacant positions. Third, medical science generates a scarcity of doctors as medical specialisation has gone beyond the level needed for work in small hospitals. Fourth, there is a demand-driven scarcity of doctors caused by new treatments generating new patients. The four categories may differentiate the debate on how to solve the Norwegian problem of scarcity of medical doctors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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