Licensed physicians who work in prisons: a profile.
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Licensed physicians who work in prisons: a profile.

  • Published Date:

    1983 Nov-Dec

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 98(6):589-596
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.60 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    A profile of the personal and professional characteristics of the physicians who work in America's prisons was obtained by analyzing data from a larger study of all licensed physicians in the United States who worked in a prison at least 12 hours a month during the fall of 1979. Psychiatrists were not included, nor were physicians working in jails. The population of 382 prison physicians comprised two major groups--those who worked in prisons full time and those who worked in them part time. Part-time physicians, who represented the majority of physicians involved in prison work (58 percent), were found to resemble closely the typical physician in the United States; they were predominantly trained in America, specialized, and board certified. In contrast, full-time prison physicians, who accounted for 73 percent of the total hours physicians spent working in prisons, differed significantly from the typical U.S. physician. They were older, less specialized, less likely to be board certified, and more likely to be graduates of non-U.S. medical schools. The professional characteristics of the full-time prison physicians raise serious questions about the quality of medical care they are likely to provide. It would seem, based on their professional attributes, that the part-time physicians are able to provide better quality care than their full-time colleagues. Prison health system could thus assure higher quality care to inmates by relying primarily on part-time rather than full-time practitioners.
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