According to The New York Times, Many people have to wait too long to see a doctor. And it could get worse. If, as many people believe, we have a shortage of doctors in the United States, then it follows that we can fix this only by training and hiring more physicians.
As with almost everything in our health care system, though, it’s complicated. Some people think there’s no shortage at all — just a poor distribution of the doctors we have.
The main argument for a physician shortage is that we aren’t adding enough new doctors to keep up with changing demographics. The Association of American Medical Colleges has projected that by 2025 there will be a shortfall of between 46,100 and 90,400 doctors. In primary care, it projects a shortfall of between 12,500 and 31,100 doctors.
The baby boomers are getting older and sicker, and they have more complex conditions than they did when they were younger, including arthritis, high blood pressure, pulmonary disease, diabetes and cancer. The Affordable Care Act is expected to accelerate the need for additional medical care. Increased insurance coverage increases demand, and Obamacare alone is projected to require about 16,000 to 17,000 more physicians than would have been required without it.
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The New York Times- A Doctor Shortage? Let’s Take a Closer Look