A Study of Arizona Physician Relocation Patterns by Rurality and Primary Care Status

Benjamin R. Brady, Bryna Koch, Dexter L. Gulick, Heather Carter, Daniel J. Derksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Physician location is an important element of health care access. However, physician shortages and disparities in geographic distribution exist. This study examines physician locations, relocation patterns, and factors associated with relocating. Methods: We used Arizona licensure data and rural-urban commuting area (RUCA) codes to identify Arizona physicians and their office or mailing address locations. Our sample included Arizona physicians estimated to be younger than 70 years of age who had an active license between in 2014 and 2019. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess physicians’ adjusted odds of relocating in Arizona by RUCA code, primary care status, age, gender, and medical education location. Results: We identified 11,202 Arizona physicians in our sample, 33% of whom changed practice addresses within Arizona between 2014 and 2019. Primary care physicians (PCPs) in large rural areas had lower odds of relocating in Arizona (0.62, 95% CI 0.43-0.90) than PCPs in urban areas. Compared to 64–69-year-old physicians, those less than 34 and 34-43 years old had statistically higher odds of relocating within Arizona. Conclusions: Primary care status and rurality are important factors consider to understand physician relocation patterns. We found that a substantial number of Arizona physicians relocated within Arizona between 2014 and 2019, and few of those who relocated (2%) moved to a more rural area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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