What Makes an Efficient Physician? Evidence from Florida Emergency Room Visits
This is the first paper to use the quasi-random assignment of patients to physicians in emergency rooms to estimate how physician human capital affects efficiency. It focuses on commonplace medical conditions, where we might not expect patients to receive different care. It finds that physician experience is the primary characteristic that affects efficiency. Experienced physicians perform fewer invasive procedures and charge less per visit, with no differences in health outcomes. There is evidence that high-quality physicians from top-20 medical schools exit the ER over time, so experienced physicians from lower ranked schools are the most efficient providers of urgent, but routine healthcare.
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