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Addressing the Physician Shortage--Who's Doing What?
Date:9/10/2008

and getting worse. Here are some of the documented statistics:
  • Nearly one-third of practicing physicians are 55 years or older and likely to retire in the next decade.

  • There is an estimated shortage of 60,000 primary care doctors nationwide.

  • 56 million Americans--nearly a fifth of the entire U.S. population--do not have access to a doctor based upon current practice shortages.

  • In fact, in the plains and panhandle areas of Texas, 27 counties do not have a single physician.

  • The Dept. of Health & Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration projects a shortfall of at least 55,000 physicians by 2020, mainly in non-primary care specialties.

  • The Health Policy Institute of the Medical College of Wisconsin predicts a more extensive shortage by that time--200,000 additional doctors needed.

Proposed solutions

According to the special report, a number of steps are being taken to remedy the shortfall of practicing physicians.

  • The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has called for a 30% increase in medical school enrollments by 2015, an increase that would
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