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Shortage of 200,000 Doctors Predicted in US by 2020

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by studentdoc29x, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. studentdoc29x

    studentdoc29x Junior Member

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    Shortage of 200,000 Doctors Predicted in US by 2020

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Nov 02 - Over the next two decades, a shortage of 200,000 physicians could occur in the US unless measures are taken to curb current economic and medical trends, according to a new report. Still, what should be done to remedy the problem remains unclear.

    The report, which is authored by Dr. Richard A. Cooper, from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, appears in the November 2nd issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    For the last 2 decades, medical school and residency program policy decisions have been based on the premise that there would be an impending physician surplus, Dr. Cooper notes. Not only did this surplus never materialize, he adds, but there is increasing evidence that a shortage of clinicians is on the horizon.

    Using a planning model that couples economic growth to health care spending and physician demand, Dr. Cooper was able to estimate the magnitude of a physician shortage or surplus in the coming decades.

    His conclusion? There is a physician shortage that is just beginning now, but will likely increase dramatically in the next 20 years. By 2020, there could be a shortage of 200,000 doctors -- about 20% of the required workforce.

    "The picture that emerges is uncomplicated and unambiguous. In simple numeric terms, the number of physicians is no longer keeping up with population growth," Dr. Cooper concludes.

    In a related editorial Dr. Alan M. Garber, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and Dr. Harold C. Sox, from the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia, write that "increasing the supply of physicians gradually, in small increments -- ones that would not require major new investments in capital or teaching personnel -- is a prudent strategy."

    Ann Intern Med 2004;141:705-714,732-734.

    Source: Medscape


    is this true, I always thought there's a surplus of doctors in the US.
     
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  3. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf
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    This is all talk.... if they really believed there will be a huge shortage then they would not have raised the passing grades of Step 1 and Step 2 and now recently (july 17 2006) step 2 CS. They would have funded more residency positions or even made specialty boards a tad easier to get through. I've heard this several times before but never seen any sort of act that is based on this talk. Most people argue that it's not that there is a shortage of physician but there is a bad geographical distribution of physicians.

    I wouldn't hold my breath on anything special happening.
     
  4. chicamedica

    chicamedica 1K Member
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    If there really is an impending shortage, i dont think making the USMLE easier to pass (if i understood you correctly faebinder, you meant LOWER the passing grade right?) would be the best way to handle it. Firstly i dont think the few who never pass the USMLE and end up dropping out of medicine are going to make up for this kind of shortage. Secondly, are we willing to compromise the level of basic medical knowledge just so that there will be more MDs/DOs getting licensed? Thirdly, i HIGHLY doubt the NBME is going to make the USMLE easier to pass. They get more revenue if more people fail and have to retake it. And with the advent of step 2CS, NBME is obviously focused on making a profit (although in the particular case of step 2CS, the effort has backfired. . .but they will keep it going until they make a profit, which is ludicrous for the students)

    I think a much better approach would be to increase the number of seats in medical schools and/or open up more med schools. There are so many pre-med hopefuls out there who would make great physicians who for one reason or another are just not making the cut, because med school admissions are unnecessarily ridiculously hard. It's much easier to get through med school, not to mention secure a residency, than to get INTO med school. I say, admit more med students, give em a chance, and whoever cant cut it will self-select (that happens anyway, regardless of the rigorous admissions).
     
  5. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    Why is this being reposted....the only shortage of doctors there will EVER be will the shortage of those willing to work for crappy wages under crappy conditions.

    Awesome propaganda. By my estimate there is a 20% OVERSUPPLY of doctors in the US and massive influx of "will work for dog steaks" IMGs to add salt to the wound. The Pew Comission recommend the amer. association of medical schools to CLOSE 33% of all medical schools some years ago...
     
  6. Fantasy Sports

    Fantasy Sports Senior Member
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    There will be a shortage of 2,000,000 doctors in 2008 if healthcare becomes socialized...
     
  7. MacGyver

    MacGyver Membership Revoked
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    USA is in the top 5 in the world in number of docs per capita. That includes some 30-40 industrialized nations.

    Yet we have fools arguign that we have a shortage?

    No way. We have plenty of docs, its just that they all want to live and work in New York, Boston, LA, Chicago, Miami and nobody wants to work the rural areas.
     
  8. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member
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    I thought the exact same thing. That's funny. :laugh:
     
  9. medgator

    medgator Senior Member
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    I definitely agree about the USMLE. If I remember correctly, isnt the pass rate for the steps anywhere from 90-95% for first time US-allopathic test takers, depending on the exam???
     
  10. Fantasy Sports

    Fantasy Sports Senior Member
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    You cant make USMLE easier, it was initially designed to be pass/fail to see if you had a basic knowledgebase. The last thing we need in an era of PAs and DOs and ODs and NPs is to lower our standards.
     
  11. gtleeee

    gtleeee D.O. in the E.R.
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    D.O.s have been practicing medicine in this country for almost 120 years. Thats a pretty long "era".) Precisely what is it you mean "in an era of PAs and DOs and ODs and NPs"? In case you are ignorant of the facts about Osteopathic Physician's and their license/history, they are Physicians with an unlimited scope of medical practice that is identical to their MD counterparts. Throwing them in with PAs and ODs shows that you know very little about D.O.s.. Look it up and learn a little before posting would be an excellent idea.
     
  12. bulgethetwine

    bulgethetwine Membership Revoked
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    What. An. dingus. U. R.

    Typical.
     
  13. gtleeee

    gtleeee D.O. in the E.R.
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    AMEN
     
  14. Fantasy Sports

    Fantasy Sports Senior Member
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    Im talking about USMLEs... not COMLEX or whatever. And Im not saying they are all equivalent professions, Im saying they are all professions that have their own tests that do/could take USMLE...

    Talk about your Type A-hole hypersensitivity reactions... :rolleyes:
     
  15. Wallachia

    Wallachia Member
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    what will we do for money, all the good starbucks jobs are taken
     
  16. gtleeee

    gtleeee D.O. in the E.R.
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    In glancing at your posts in the past about a variety of subjects, I defer to
    bulgethetwine's judgement in the post above as probably the most accurate. I can not improve upon it, so I won't try :laugh:
     
  17. awdc

    awdc Senior Member
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    I'll repost something here I posted elsewhere on the internet...

    No shortage of physicians? Just look at the proliferation of mid-level providers. If there's no need for more clinicians, the explosion of NP's and PA's probably would not have occurred. People are still complaining about how long it takes to get an appointment, especially for specialists. In fact, according to physician recruitment firms, the demand keeps growing. The AAMC in the 90's were predicting a surplus of physicians by 2010-2015 but that's obviously not happening. Why? Managed care certainly hasn't taken over as much as once feared, physicians retiring earlier, a greater emphasis on family over work especially with the increase in women physicians, baby-boomers and increasing proportion of the elderly in the population who naturally consume more healthcare resources. Of course, part of the problem is maldistribution of physicians between urban and rural areas. Still, physician recruitment in cities continue ahead.

    The AAMC is already making plans for increasing enrollment (see links below) but if we are facing a shortage of physicians, shouldn't there also be an increase in residency positions available? Sure there was a one-time increase in slots for 2005-2006 but nothing about long-term expansion. Currently, if there is an increase in U.S. medical school graduates, these grads will just be reclaiming a bigger part of the pie from foreign medical graduates. According to the link below, foreign medical graduates now comprise 20% of the residents in allopathic programs or, 25% if you include U.S. citizen/resident international medical graduates. And another 11% of residents are D.O.'s in allopathic programs. So where is the call to increase enrollment in graduate medical education (i.e. residencies and fellowships)? To me, that's where the real output of physicians are determined since today's world requires residency training.

    http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/april05/word.htm
    http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/june06/workforce.htm
    http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/april05/word.htm
     
  18. endodoc

    endodoc Endocrinologist (MD, PhD)
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    What do you think Medicare and Medicaid is? It is a form of socialized govt. run medicne. They tell us how to charge, how much, where, when, how... To me that is big govt at best.


    Yes, I am saying this is a bad thing. Although there are new rules for Medicare and medicaid that will help PMD's.
     
  19. MacGyver

    MacGyver Membership Revoked
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    Thats your first mistake. You cant trust these clowns. Of course they are going to say there's a shortage, that means they get more money for each doc they recruit. What the hell did you think they were going to say?

    "recruitment" firms lie in order to make their service seem more valuable. After all, if the perception is that docs are readily available, then these recruitment firms wouldnt get paid jack would they?

    Its the same deal with the Information Technology Association of America and their blatant lies regarding IT workers. They insist every year that IT workers are the hottest thing since sliced bread, and then ignore the studies that show many IT workers out of jobs due to outsourcing. Then they go to Congress and lie about how IT workers are in short supply and that Congress needs to approve more H1-B visas for foreign IT workers to come in (of course at cheap labor costs). After they are done lying to Congress and lying to the public about how IT workers are in short supply, they lay off americans and move their operations overseas.
     
  20. RRT2MD

    RRT2MD Member
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    DITTO. :thumbup:
     

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