Abstract for: Local Area Physician Workforce Planning Model Pilot

Physician workforce planning tools are needed to address the adequacy of the nationís physician workforce to meet its health needs. Since health care is an inherently local phenomenon, physician supply and demand need to be understood in the local area context. Therefore, we seek to build a Local Area Physician Workforce Planning Model that emphasizes a local perspective. To that end, we are developing a process to improve physician workforce planning to better align workforce capacity with community needs. The cornerstone of this effort is the extensive use of an iterative series of group model building processes that engage local system stakeholders in creating a system dynamics-based model of physician workforce capacity and need that facilitates planning and the evaluation of potential policy changes. We are approaching the conclusion of our work in our pilot site, the U.S. metropolitan area of Cleveland, Ohio. The model and development process have generated important lessons, including: the importance of advance preparation for group model building sessions; how a combination of group model building and data analysis can verify shared mental models and highlight key policy levers; the difficulties associated with modeling complex supply chains; and the limitations imposed by a dearth of suitable data.