National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

Alternate Titles(s): NAMCS
UID: 10022

The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) is a national survey designed to provide objective, reliable information about the provision and use of ambulatory medical care services in the United States. The survey was conducted annually from 1973 to 1981, in 1985, and annually since 1989. The survey samples visits to non-federally employed office-based physicians who are engaged in direct patient care. Physicians in the anesthesiology, pathology, and radiology specialities are excluded.

Data are collected from the physician and include information on patient age, sex, race, and ethnicity as well as the patient's reason for visit, the physician's diagnosis, services ordered, and treatments. For survey responses from 1973 to 1991, data is reported in two files: one for patient visit data and a second for visits with a mention of medication therapy. For survey responses from 1992 to 2011, patient visit and drug data are reported in a single file. From 2012 onwards, there are two data files: one for patient visit and drug data and a second for data from providers at community health centers.

1973 - Present
Geographic Coverage
United States
Subject of Study
Subject Domain


Free to All
Fee Required
Application Required

Public-use data files are available for download from the NAMCS website through the access link. Read-in files are also available for SAS, Stata, and SPSS. Public-use files for all survey years have also been shared through the ICPSR data repository.

Access to restricted data is available for a fee to approved users at the NCHS Research Data Centers. To review the documentation for restricted data, refer to this page before submitting an application.

Access via NCHS

Publicly-available datasets and documentation

Access via RDC

Application instructions for restricted data

Access via ICPSR

Publicly-available datasets and documentation

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