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Primary Care Glut?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by DO2, May 31, 1999.

  1. DO2

    DO2 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 18, 1999
    It seems as though new P.A. school's are opening up left and right. Along with the boom in osteopathic schools in the last few years is there going to be a glut in the fields of primary care? Just as it seems that PTA's (physical therapy assistants) are taking jobs that belong to PT's, will P.A.'s take jobs that would normally go to physicians? Is anyone else concerned?

    [This message has been edited by DO2 (edited May 31, 1999).]
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  3. There already is a glut of primary care physicians. Of course in rural and other underserved areas there is plenty of opportunity, which is where DO's are expected to practice anyways.
  4. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 1999
    i think there is a glut in all fields, except maybe neurology and geriatric med.
  5. Satellite

    Satellite Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 1999
    Do not forget that the majority of the adult population is going to be retiring over the next 10 years.(Baby Boomers)

    This means we are going to need a sharp increase in the number of Doc's to deal with these Elderly as they become more and more ill with age.

    It's all a matter of numbers.
  6. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 1999
    yes that is true, but you can be pretty sure that this will not be the case for many fields. I remember reading an article two years ago in NEJM by the director of the neurosurgery res. program at NYU. The article was a piece about the past, present and future of training in the field. This guy was overtly pessimistic about the future of neurosurgery residency programs, forecasting the closing of programs, decrease in funding, decrease in training spots.

    I think that the surgical fields will be hit very hard. I think that other fields like optho, anesthesiology, radiology, and primary care will be hurt b/c of non-physician providers.

    I think that fields that older populations seek in disproportionate amounts like cardiology, neurology, pm&r, geriatrics, etc. will see an increase in demand.

    EM will also increase in my opinion as society continues to become more violent and more and more uninsured go to EDs as their only access to health care.

    A word about the money. Let us not forget that the elderly, in general, use medicare. Note that at the present day, a very very large percentage of GME funding is derived from this same source. Withdrawing GME funding in order to pay for health care funding of the "baby boomer" generation is an option that is being taken quite seriously in congress these days. If that happens, expect to see a decrease in many specialty field training slots.

    So on one hand, baby boomers will use more health care (ie require more doctors, or at least health care hours). On the other hand the increase in baby boomers may lead to a decrease in the number of doctors trained.

    Too bad no one can get in together and restrict the number of people entering medical school. Rather the case is likely to be that in the future some med school grads will be unable to obtain GME training and, ergo, licensure.
  7. prefontaine

    prefontaine Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 1998
    Northern Liberties
    Since many of the specialties generate $$$, they are actually MORE likely to maintain residencies than the lowly primary care positions that do not and rely on medicare $$$ to fund training.
  8. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 1999
    i respectfully and completely disagree.
  9. Be careful what you wish for. It seems to me that all these DO schools opening up are already contributing to the problem.
  10. Stephen

    Stephen Member 10+ Year Member

    May 10, 1999
    Underhill,VT, USA
    Perhaps the excess of doctors can have us rethink how we deliver health care.

    I may be overly optimistic, but I see an opportunity in the "excess" of doctors. Perhaps doctors will have more time to spend with patients and doctors will not be killing themselves with long work hours. I believe that most people in the United States see alternative medicine practioners more often than "traditional doctors", many times paying out of their own pocket for the care. There seems to be a need for real healers. If we rethink how we deliver medicine, I think there will be an abundance of opportunities to serve.

    Look at it this way, you will never have to worry about where your food is coming from, which is more than many people on our planet can say.
  11. KUMC_MD

    KUMC_MD Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    wow this is an old topic...

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