Número de médicos en Chile: estimaciones, proyecciones y comparación internacional
Background: In the last decades, the number of Universities with medical schools has increased dramatically in our country. Aim: To introduce a conceptual model to estimate the number of physicians that are incorporated to the profession in Chile every year as well as the cumulative number of active physicians in specific time frame. To provide information about the number of available physicians in the country and compare it with the international context. Material and methods: This model includes information about the number of students that are admitted in all medical schools of the country, the dropout rate, the number of immigrant physicians from other countries, and the cumulative number of active physicians in the previous period. Results: There is an increased number of new medical students starting in 1994 that will produce, starting in 2001, a significant increased in the number of new physicians graduated from Chilean Universities. Meanwhile the increased number of new physicians in recent years is mainly explained by a significant increase in immigrant physicians. The number of active physicians estimated by the year 2000 is 18,549 and this number will be 25,704 by the year 2007. With these estimated numbers, we introduce a qualitative model that allowed us to compare the current number of active physicians in Chile with other countries, especially those with a comparable degree of development. This model uses first The Human Development Index and later the per capita income of different countries adjusted by purchasing power in USA. According to these calculations, Chile has a lower number of physicians than similar countries, and this difference will persist, even after the significant increase in the new physicians expected for the new future. Conclusions: Chile continues to have a lower number of physicians than countries with similar human development indices (Rev Méd Chile 2000; 128: 1167-76).