Mapping Access to Doctors


Primary Care Physicians



Find on PolicyMap

  • Health
    • Access to Medical Care
      • Health Professionals
        • Doctors

How far do you travel to get to a doctor? Depending on where you live, the answer to this question can vary greatly. If you reside in Texas, for example, it is possible that you may have to travel several counties over to get to the nearest doctor. In fact, as of 2014, more than 30 counties in Texas had not even one primary care physician! We can get a very clear picture of this issue by looking at data from Health Resources and Services Administration’s Area Health Resources File (AHRF), which we recently updated on PolicyMap with data from the 2013-2014 release.

The map below shows just how limited primary care physicians are in south Texas. The lack of access to doctors, compounded by the high levels of poverty in some of these areas, can make addressing medical issues very challenging. This is not just a Texas problem, though. Communities from Buffalo, NY to Puget Sound, WA to St. James, MN are trying to figure out how to address the shortage of primary care physicians.

Other AHRF data available on PolicyMap include access to dentists, emergency room usage rates, and access to hospital beds and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). If you have any suggestions for other health data you would like to see on PolicyMap, please let us know!