Complete 5 page APA formatted essay: Doctor Shortage Issues.Download file to see previous pages… Is there a general shortage of physicians or only in key areas (geographically and by specialty)? Exp

Complete 5 page APA formatted essay: Doctor Shortage Issues.

Download file to see previous pages…

Is there a general shortage of physicians or only in key areas (geographically and by specialty)? Experts in the medical field have stated that the country in its present state does have enough doctors to deal with patients who frequently hospitals. They are of the opinion that this state will more likely than not become far worse than it currently is, as a result of the legislation that will see many people legally gaining medical insurance under the law. Projections into the future have revealed that given present graduation and training figures, America will possibly experience a shortage of as much as 150,000 doctors over the next 15 years. These reports got confirmed by the Association of American Colleges that documented that there will be a shortage of 91,500 specialized physicians by 2020. The association predicts that the population will require an additional 45,000 primary care doctors and 46,000 medical specialist and surgeons. This is despite the push to increase enrollments into medical school and residency in teaching hospitals (Anthony, 2011). Though the country currently has an estimated 954,000 doctors, this number barely meets the requirements of the growing population. Studies have indicated that primary care physicians will be of immense demand. This is because, under the new legislation, family physicians, internists, pediatricians and general practitioners will have a crucial role of coordinating patient care. They will be required in their numbers. Primary care doctor numbers currently stand at 353,300 and their need gets expected to increase exponentially over the years. Since 2002, as many as 33 states have looked into present and future physician needs (Anthony, 2011). Generally, these audits have pointed out shortages in primary care doctors, and in specialties such as immunology and allergy, dermatology, psychiatry, cardiology, neurosurgery and child psychiatry. There exists vast disparity in the distribution of doctors in America. Most of the doctors get concentrated in the urban areas and cities where as the rural America has little number of doctors. This creates a precedence of physician shortage in the rural areas (Anthony, 2011). What are the key barriers to increasing the number of physicians? (Consider primary care and specialty physicians). Increasing the number of physicians has been affected by a number of factors. Though there have been increased admissions in medical schools, these efforts will all prove futile if the residence slots are not equally increased. These residency positions currently stand at a limited number in teaching hospitals. According to the Association of American Physicians, there are about 120,000 resident slots in the United States, a number far lower than the number of students graduating from medical school each year. This was worsened by the Balanced Budget act of 1997 that limited funding for medical residency, which hospitals attest has increasingly affected their ability to increase the number of positions (Dewar, 2009). Primary care gets especially plagued with poor reimbursement as primary care physicians have significantly less income and low status than their specialist counterparts. The services rendered by primary physicians get undervalued by the payment systems in place.

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