It is estimated that by 2020, there will be a national shortage of 91,500 physicians-45,400 primary care physicians and 46,100 sub-specialists and advances in healthcare will only add to this growing problem. There have been numerous reports suggesting what the reasons for this shortage may be including population health issues, decreasing physician reimbursements, workforce problems, and residency training issues. Some have suggested a push towards mid-level providers such as advanced nurse practitioners but even with that, there will still be a significant shortage of physicians. With an increasing aging population, it’s critical that we find a solution.
Due to this growing shortage, states and schools have worked towards increasing their numbers of medical student but that alone will not fix the problem. Also, the unwillingness of Congress to fund additional Medicare GME positions may lead to medical school graduates with less opportunities to finish their residencies. Medicare has been the largest supporter of graduate medical education programs since 1965.
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