In a recent article The AAMC estimates the U.S. will need up to 90,000 physicians.
Key Findings: The nation is likely to experience a shortage of physicians which will grow over time. Though the supply of physicians is projected to increase modestly between now and 2025, the demand for physicians is projected to increase even more sharply.
For anyone who calls on Residency programs across the country, like I do, you may wonder where these providers are going to come from. Yearly there are at least 2,500 medical school graduates who cannot get into a residency. When I investigated by calling on fellowship and residency programs nationwide, The average specialty fellowship program I spoke with had 1-3 graduates each year and the average residency program I spoke with had around 6.
In my opinion (supported by numerous credible, real, statistics, and surveys) in 10 years’ time the number of physicians available to a growing and aging population will not be effected in any way at all by a student entering medical school today.
According to a recent NEJM article, these statistics were presented. Given enrollment growth, it may soon be impossible for all graduates of U.S. medical and osteopathic colleges to secure GME slots unless there is a sizable increase in the number of training positons. For example: Florida had 4037 medical students but only 3606 GME positions This is a shortfall of 431 being able to enter the workforce every year, by 2025 that will be 4,310 missing Doc’s. This is just one state.
AAMC chief executive officer Darrell Kirch notes that medical schools have done their part to reduce the shortage of “more than 90,000 primary care and specialty doctors . . . . However, this will not result in a single new practicing physician unless Congress acts now to lift the cap on residency training positions.”
At this time it is estimated that there are over 40,000 physicians available to fill Locum Tenens assignments. Yet, over half of the facilities I call on will not use Locum Tenens Providers to fill multiple vacancies. I think they are waiting for a ship that may never come in.