Research Alert: June 6, 2022

The Racial and Ethnic Diversity of the Family Physician Workforce in Non-Metropolitan and Metropolitan Counties

In general, physicians are disproportionately White and male compared to the U.S. workforce and population, but little is known about racial and ethnic distribution of family physicians (FPs) according to rurality and how this compares to urban FPs. Our objective was to determine the distribution of FPs in rural areas by race/ethnicity and also whether rural minority physicians were more likely to be in underserved rural areas.

Key Findings
  • The family physician workforce is becoming more racially diverse; however, non-metropolitan family physicians are not.
  • Early career family physicians are more diverse than later career physicians.
  • Minority non-metropolitan family physicians, particularly Black and Native American/Alaska Native physicians, are more likely to practice in persistent poverty counties.
Contact Information:

Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD
Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
Phone: 859.538.7180

Additional Resources of Interest: