Physicians’ circularity in health regions in Brazil

Abstract Objectives: to characterize the medical circularity in Brazil and to discuss the case in the North and South Barretos regions, São Paulo. Methods: a cross-sectional study using secondary data from the national registrations and a case study of physician’s sample in the North-Barretos and South-Barretos regions. Results: in the health regions in Brazil, on an average, 45% of the physicians in activities circulate in more than one region. The Capitals of the States have more stable physicians while more than 50% of the medical workforce work in other regions. The professionals with the greatest tendency to move from one work place to another are those who work in surgical specialties in services to uphold the diagnostic and therapy. Conclusions: there is a high circulation of physicians among the regions, with distinct characteristics between geographical and health regions. In case of Barretos area, the professionals move from one workplace to another according to their professional association and specialized practice.