Are there enough physicians around?

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Information about Are there enough physicians around?
Health & Medicine

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: CureMDHealthcare



Are there enough physicians around?

Are there enough physicians around? © CureMD Healthcare

Report • The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide affordable and quality healthcare coverage to more people • But do we have enough physicians to address their health concerns? • According to a report by the American Association of Medical Colleges, there would be a shortage of 90,000 physicians across the country by 2020 • Health policy experts believe that the solution to the problem is not increasing the nation’s physician headcount • Instead, they argue that elimination of unnecessary care while improving productivity can address the issue

Physicians • The United States ranks 30th in total medical graduates and 20th in practicing physicians per 1,000 people amongst the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) • But despite these numbers, the US ranks first in the proportion of specialists to generalists • While these figures do not settle the physician shortage debate, they provide a significant insight into the gap between US specialists and primary care providers

Physicians • As the number of insured people in the US grows rapidly, we will eventually face a dearth of physicians unless there is an immediate increase in their number and/or a drastic change in how the majority of physicians practice • If we want to address the ever-increasing demand for healthcare services while keeping them affordable, we need to make our system 10-20 percent more efficient • Once we achieve that, we will have enough physicians, for today and tomorrow

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