The Longevity and Mortality of American Physicians, 1969-1973

This paper analyzes the mortality experience of male and female physicians during the five-year period 1969 through 1973 in terms of age, sex, geographic location, and medical specialty. Physician mortality and longevity are then compared with the experience prevailing among the U. S. white population of the same age and sex. Relationships between socioeconomic status and mortality suggest that physicians should have a better mortality experience than the general population and as such have a greater overall expectation of life. Previous studies of physician mortality in the United States using data from the records of the American Medical Association, have examined physician mortality relative to comparable groups of white males. No studies of physician mortality utilizing a population-based approach have been reported since that of the 1949 to 1951 population of physicians, and previous studies may have been subject to certain limitations in the data. Empirical findings are presented which demonstrate the improvement in physician longevity since 1925. The relationship between age and sex-specific mortality and geographic location and medical specialization is also discussed.

Author(s): Louis J. Goodman

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Volume 53, Issue 3 (pages 353–375)
Published in 1975