The Department of Veterans Affairs--the VA--operates the nation's largest and most diverse health care system. How many physicians does it need to carry out its principal mission-related responsibilities of patient care, education, and research? This book presents and demonstrates by concrete example a methodology to answer this basic, but extraordinarily complex, question.
The heart of the methodology is a decision-making process in which both statistical and expert judgment approaches can be used separately or in concert to calculate the number of physicians required, by specialty, for any facility in the VA system. Although the analyses here focus entirely on the VA, the methodology could be used to determine physician staffing for a wide range of public and private sector health care organizations.