5 reasons this expert doubts the national physician shortage

A researcher from George Washington University School of Nursing in Washington, D.C., is challenging projections that the U.S. is facing a physician shortage in an op-ed in Academic Medicine.

"I no longer believe the nation is facing a general physician shortage; but to be clear, we do face shortages in individual communities and specialties," researcher Edward Salsberg said in a statement. "The maldistribution of physicians requires a different policy response than a general shortage."

Mr. Salsberg cited five top reasons for his viewpoint on the shortage.

1. The ranks of non-physician providers, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, are growing faster than the growth rate of the U.S. population.

2. Non-physician providers and can help address much of the growing demand for services.

3. The supply of physicians is growing modestly each year, with 1.7 percent annual growth in new GME entrants.

4. Team-based care, incentives to improve efficiency and other elements of healthcare reform are making the impact of each provider spread further.

5. Technological advances in telehealth, eHealth and EHRs will help providers become more efficient and effective.

 

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