This study seeks to determine whether minority Americans tend to see physicians of their own race as a matter of choice or simply because minority physicians are more conveniently located within predominantly minority communities.

Using data from the Commonwealth Fund 1994 National Comparative Survey of Minority Health Care, we found that black and Hispanic Americans sought care from physicians of their own race because of personal preference and language, not solely because of geographic accessibility.

As minority populations continue to grow, the demand for minority physicians is likely to increase. Keeping up with this demand will require medical school admissions policies and physician workforce planning to include explicit strategies to increase the supply of underrepresented minority physicians.