[R] importing NPDB

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at me.com
Wed Dec 28 01:00:37 CET 2011

On Dec 27, 2011, at 4:55 PM, alison korte wrote:

> Does anyone have information about using the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) in R? It's public use data available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that can be downloaded as a .dat or .por file. I can't even figure out how to open the file in R.

The files that are available from:


are either tab delimited ASCII files (.DAT) or SPSS (.POR) files. 

For R, you would want to use the former and import the files using ?read.delim, which defaults to using a '\t' (TAB) character as the delimiter. See the R Data Import/Export manual for more information:


Technical details about the file structure are available in:


BTW, that took about two minutes of searching using Google.


Marc Schwartz

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