No End in Sight for Doctor Shortage
(Dec. 16) -- The nation is short of thousands of primary-care doctors. Medical schools plan to add 3,000 first-year students by 2018, but that won't be enough to meet the need, according to a report from Bloomberg.com.
Though schools plan to educate more doctors, the demand for physicians is expected to soar if Congress passes a health care reform plan aimed at getting insurance to 31 million more Americans. The bill is being debated at a time when government-funded training for doctors has been frozen for 12 years, Bloomberg reported.
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Joe Raedle, Getty Images
A doctor, center, speaks during a cardiology class at the University of Miami. Medical colleges have added 1,500 seats since 2005 and plan to add 3,000 more by 2018.
"Do the math," said Steven Safyer, president and chief executive officer at New York's Montefiore Medical Center. "You give millions more people insurance, and it adds up to a much worse shortage."
Ed Salsberg, an official with the American Association of Medical Colleges, told the news service that the nation may be short of 159,300 doctors across all practice areas by 2025.
How should the shortage be resolved? Medical school officials have differing opinions. Read about them at Bloomberg Report.