In this study, the number of physicians presently living in Korea was thoroughly estimated by several means and, on this basis, their productivity and level of supply were estimated. The results were as follows First, the number of physicians who did not notify the Korea Medical Association in May 1987 were 10,110, including 4,093 emigrant physicians(40.5%) ,861 military medical officers,745 public health doctors, and 107 deceased physicians. A total of 1,330 physicians could not be identified by any effort. Second, among the 34,897 registered physicians as of May 1987, 29,933(85.8%) were residing in Korea, 4,115 physicians(11.8%) had emigrated to other countries, and 849 physicians(2.4%) were deceased. Practicing physicians difined as those in Korea who were not retired, serving in the military, or completing residencies or internships, comprised 78.6%(27,414 physicians) of the total number of registered physicians. Third, it is estimated that in the year 2000 the number of registered physicians, physicians residing in Korea, and practicing physician will be 75,040, 64,038, and 57,655, respectively and these are increases of 115.0%, 113.9%, and 110.3%, respectively, compared to 1987. Fourth, the population physician ratio will be 759 to one physician in the year 2000. Fifth, the productivity of physicians, as calculated by relative values defining the productivity of 35 to 44 year-old male physicians as 10, will increase 110.7% in the year 2000 compare to that of 1987, and this increment is almost the same level as that of physician supply. From the results of the present analysis of physician manpower and supply projection, it can be recognized that the development of a regular notification system is necessary in order to identify precisely the number of physicians. Also a policy of physician supply is essential in order to adjust in advance the number of physicians, otherwise there will be surplus to the medical demand.
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