To the Editor: Schwartz et al. (April 7 issue)1 use past trends to project physician requirements in 2000. Amid complex changes in medical care organization and financing, other ways of addressing the future, such as the exploration of alternative scenarios, may be more useful.2 These would focus more attention on the analysts' assumptions in the models and less on the models' numerical outputs. The risk of relying on the past to predict the future is exemplified in the authors' Table 1. They predict that the number of allopathic physicians not involved in patient care will increase by more than 50.
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