Friday, April 2, 2010

New Medical Schools May Not Address Shortage of Doctors

An article in American Medical News reports that despite the number of new medical schools set to open in the coming years, the doctor shortage may continue. The article says the cause lies with the lack of compensation for new doctors.

The AMA is calling for the elimination of a cap on the number of Medicare-paid residents at hospitals, which has kept some potential students from enrolling in medical school. Also, there continues to be the problem of increasing student debt. This forces students to seek positions in higher paying specialties, rather than in primary care, where the shortage will hit the hardest.

Furthermore, the number of new medical school enrollees is not expected to offset the number of physicians expected to retire in the coming years, contributing to the expected shortage of 125,000 doctors by 2025.

In the coming years, there will be an increased need for primary care physicians. This article suggests that the solution may not be increasing the number of medical schools, but to find economic ways to lure students to this field.


No comments: