Are You Prepared for the Primary Care Shortage?
The number of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine physicians in the United States is failing to keep up with ever-growing demand. Studies indicate that there could be a shortfall of up to 35,000 Primary Care doctors by the year 2025 and in the range of 40,800-104,900 by the year 2030.
One factor deterring medical students from choosing to go into Primary Care is the fact that specialists earn, on average, $100,000 more than Primary Care doctors. With several hundred thousand dollars of debt piled up from medical school, salary often plays a key role when medical students choose to go into a higher paying specialty.
With this shortage of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine physicians, some Primary Care providers are no longer accepting new patients. This results in many patients ignoring their routine care. The American Academy of Family Physicians says studies have suggested that “as many as 127,617 deaths per year in the United States could be averted through an increase in the number of Primary Care physicians available.” Death rates for cancer, heart disease and stroke are all lower in areas where there are more Primary Care providers per person.
Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians, CBS News, SteadyMD.com