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The 2020 Physician: Doctors needed in medicine today, now more than ever.

The 2020 Physician: Doctors needed in medicine today, now more than ever.

 

What are the needs in medicine today and right around the corner in 2020?

 

In just over a decade, primary and specialty care physician shortages on the high end could climb even higher to 120,000 according to research data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). On the low end, the projection is almost a shortage of 43,000. The AAMC report points towards a growing U.S. population which will age considerably by 2030. Other factors spiking the demand is an expected increase of 11 percent in U.S. population, a 50 percent hike in the amount of people over 65-years-old and a doctor supply dwindling as about one-third of all U.S. physicians reaching age 65, in just the next decade, this according to the AAMC. The AAMC also listed retirement of aging doctors as the largest impact on physician supply.

 

The next dozen years is a critical time where more doctors need to be trained than ever before just to meet needs of future patients, this predicted by the aforementioned population hike data released from the AAMC. Doctor shortages are one of the reasons for a rise in nurse practitioner growth, nurse practitioners are also known as NP’s. Some of the biggest shortages are in rural areas across America’s heartland. According a medical journal article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, NPs are helping to reduce that shortage. The journal article noted: However, NP scope of practice regulations varies from state-to-state ranging from autonomous practice to direct physician oversight - the purpose of this study was to determine if clinical outcomes of older rural adult patients vary by the level of practice autonomy that states grant to NPs.

 

In conclusion, the bottom line and most important thing to take home here is physician shortage, especially in rural areas, is on the rise. Positions in both primary care and specialty care are in high demand.

 

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