Physician shortage remains a major healthcare problem in the U.S., with new research showing that projected physician demand will continue to grow faster than the supply. The latest projections continue to align with previous estimates, showing a projected shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 doctors by 2030, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

With a growing and ageing population, the projected shortage becomes more worrisome. It’s estimated that by 2030, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will increase by 55 percent. “As patients get older, they need two to three times as many services, mostly in speciality care, which is where the shortages are particularly severe,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.

The AAMC report aggregates the shortages in four broad categories: primary care, medical specialities, surgical specialities, and other specialities. By 2030, the study estimates a shortfall of between 7,300 and 43,100 primary care physicians. Non-primary care specialities are expected to experience a shortfall of between 33,500 and 61,800 physicians. These findings are largely consistent with the 2015 and 2016 reports. In particular, the supply of surgical specialists is expected to remain level, while demand increases.

Swift action is needed to prevent the shortage problem becoming a dangerous healthcare crisis. The AAMC supports a multipronged solution, including expanding medical school class sizes and increasing federal support for an additional 3,000 new residency positions per year over the next five years.

Opening new branches of medical schools is among key strategies adopted by numerous states to help alleviate the physician shortage.

Source: Fierce Healthcare
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Healthcare, physician shortage, physician demand Physician shortage remains a major healthcare problem in the U.S., with new research showing that projected physician demand will continue to grow faster than the supply.