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Community Demographic Analysis

by Patrick C. Alguire, MD, FACP
Director, Education and Career Development, ACP

Moving to a new community to begin a medical practice is an exciting opportunity for most young physicians, but how do you know if the community will meet your professional needs? The following worksheet is designed to help you assess a community before you commit to a contract. It has been adapted from Evaluating Professional Opportunities in Medicine, by Paul L. Herndon. Much of the information on the survey can be obtained by speaking with local physicians, government or business groups.

I. The Competitive Environment

A. Physicians

1. How many physicians are in your potential practice environment

 

In internal medicine?

______

In competitive specialties (general practice or family medicine)?

______

2. Are these physicians accepting new patients

 

In internal medicine?

______

In competitive specialties?

______

3. What is the average physician age

 

In internal medicine?

______

In competitive specialties?

______

4. How many new physicians have moved into the community practice area in the past five years

 

In internal medicine?

______

In competitive specialties?

______

 

B. Hospitals

1. How many hospitals are in your community?

______

2. Do these hospitals provide competitive outpatient services

 

In primary care?

______

In counseling?

______

3. Does your primary hospital have

 

A department of internal medicine?

______

An open staff policy?

 

Restricted privileges?

______

4. How many new physicians have been added to the staff within the past year

 

In internal medicine?

______

In competitive specialties?

______

 

C. Other Facilities

1. Are competitive, alternative health care delivery centers operating in the community? How many

 

Free standing emergency centers?

______

Primary care centers?

______

Diagnostic testing centers?

______

Industrial workers' compensation clinics?

______

 

D. Managed Care

1. How many managed care systems function within the community that are

 

HMO?

______

IPA?

______

PPO?

______

Others?

______

2.Which of the following systems are major competitive forces within the community?

 

HMO

______

IPA

______

PPO

______

Others

______

3.Which of the following systems is likely to affect your practice?

 

HMO

______

IPA

______

PPO

______

Others

______

4.Which of the following systems are viewed favorably by the medical community?

 

HMO

______

IPA

______

PPO

______

Others

______

5.Do the major businesses/industries in the community require, or will they require, their employees to join these prepaid systems?

 

HMO

______

IPA

______

PPO

______

Others

______

 

II. Community Demographics

A. Population

1. What is the population of the community?

______

2. How much did the population change in the past five years?

______

3. Is the community considered transient?

______

4. What is the population of the area from which your patients will come?

______

 

B. Age Distribution

1. Demographic Information

______

Number of new families that moved into the community in the past year?

______

Number of new houses?

______

Number of new rental units?

______

Number of new employment applications?

______

2. Geriatric

 

Number of retirement/nursing homes?

______

Number of families with older members living with them?

______

Do these age distributions correspond with the services that you want to provide?

______

 

C. Economic

1. What is the percentage of unemployment in your area?

______

2. Which of the following businesses and industries are present in your area?

 

Technology

______

Heavy Industry

______

Agriculture

______

Service

______

Government

______

Other

______

3. Are new businesses opening?

______

4. Are established businesses hiring or laying off?

______

5. What is the average income of the practice area?

______

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