This study has two objectives. First, it identifies how much the presence of community hospital beds adds to the stock of physicians practicing in nonmetropolitan counties. Second, it estimates the impact hospital closures or other reductions in beds have on the net flow of physicians into rural counties. The study relies primarily on data from the 1981 and 1986 Physician Masterfiles of the American Medical Association. We find that hospital bed reductions and closures essentially do not affect the availability of physicians - they have apparently already left by the time the downsizing occurs. Further, population change and the number of physicians already in the county determine for the most part the entry or exit of physicians.