The pandemic emphasized the need for quality physicians providing optimal patient care. However, a new study from the Association of American Medical Colleges found that by 2034, the United States could see a potential shortage of 37,800 to 124,000 physicians
Although many of the data collected was pre-COVID, the authors of the study recognize that “the pandemic has highlighted many of the deepest disparities in health and access to health care services, contributed to a rising physical and emotional toll on physicians and other health workers, and exposed vulnerabilities in the health care system.” The study notes that further analysis is required to understand the full impact of COVID-19 on the workforce.
The study found that there could be a potential shortage of 17,800 to 48,000 primary care physicians by 2034 and a shortage of 21,000 to 77,100 nonprimary care specialty physicians by 2034 (surgical specialties and medical specialties.) .
Why will there be a physician shortage?
Population growth and aging: By 2034, the population of Americans ages 65 and older will increase by 42.4 percent and the US population will grow by 10.6 percent.
Physician retirement: A large majority of the physician workforce is nearing traditional retirement age, and even more could be considering an accelerated retirement due to burnout from the pandemic. More than 2 of 5 active physicians will be older than 65 in the next decade.
Increased demand in rural areas: The study estimates that current demand would increase by an additional 180,400 physicians if minority populations, those living in rural areas and the uninsured used care the same way as those with coverage in metropolitan areas.
As the increase in demand for physicians is high, so is the need to reduce physician burnout and fill in skills gaps across the country. Hyr Medical makes it easy for physicians to remain flexible will giving hospitals and healthcare systems the option to enable an on-demand workforce.