National Study on the Contribution of Family Physicians to the US Emergency Physician Workforce in 2020.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

J Am Board Fam Med


alaska; valdez; pvmc; Certification; Cross-Sectional Studies; Emergency Medicine; Female; Humans; Male; Physicians, Family; United States; Workforce


BACKGROUND: Family physicians provide a sizable portion of emergency care in the United States. However, there is limited work characterizing this population.

METHODS: We completed a cross-sectional analysis of the 2020 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile that was inclusive of all clinically active physicians who designated emergency medicine as their primary or secondary specialty and had family medicine residency training and/or family medicine board certification. We used Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education information to determine family medicine residency training and data from the American Board of Medical Specialties to determine family medicine board certification status. We calculated physician density using US Census Bureau estimates; urban-rural assignments were based on Urban Influence Codes.

RESULTS: We identified 4354 clinically active emergency physicians (9% of the overall emergency physician workforce). Of these, a majority were male (88%) and completed their training at least 20 years ago (84%), and a majority (59%) reported emergency medicine as their primary specialty. There is notable variation in physician density per 100,000 US population, and these densities declined compared with prior estimates from 2008.

CONCLUSIONS: We find that family physicians represent a sizable portion of the overall emergency physician workforce despite decreases in physician densities across the United States.


Emergency Medicine


Graduate Medical Education