Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)Purpose: This study examines whether Indiana physicians’ choices to practice in medically underserved and rural areas of Indiana are associated with select physician characteristics. Methods: Physician data were gathered from the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. Analysis was limited to primary care physicians currently practicing, whose birth city and/or state were known (if American born) and whose current practice location could be matched to an Indiana ZIP Code. The underserved and rural areas and physician data were mapped using ArcGIS. Chi square and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify significant associations between the physician characteristics and choice of practice location. Results: In instances where a physician was born in a county that fell below its state’s median income level in the decade of birth, there is a significant likelihood of future choice to practice in underserved and rural areas. Attending a medical school in the Midwest and region of birth (subdivided by state) were proven to have no predictive value. Conclusions: This result, when compared with other studies that have found physician hometown to be a predictive factor, seems to confirm and strengthen the argument that factors in a physician’s past, including social and economic setting of his or her upbringing, influence choice to practice in underserved and/or rural areas
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