AAMC Report Spotlights Nation’s Looming Physician Shortage

April 29, 2019

Updated projections from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released last week indicate the nation’s physician workforce shortage is worsening. The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2017 to 2032 states that demand for physicians will exceed supply by more than 120,000 by 2032. The figure includes shortages of up to 55,200 primary care physicians and 65,800 specialty care physicians. IHS Markit, a global information company, prepared the report for AAMC.

The projections were developed using various supply and demand models that considered the aging population and changes in physician demographics and practice patterns, the delivery system, and the scope of practice and job responsibilities for different care team members. More than two out of five currently active physicians will be 65 or older in the next decade, and small changes in retirement patterns could have a major effect on physician supply, the report noted. The shift toward more population health strategies will increase demand and need for primary care physicians and better treatment for chronic conditions. And despite significant growth in advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, and other non-physician professions, the US will still face a major physician shortage.

To address this looming shortage, GNYHA continues to call on Congress to pass the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019 (S. 348/H.R. 1763), which would increase the number of Medicare-reimbursed residency slots by 15,000.

GNYHA will continue advocating on Capitol Hill for the enactment of proposals that support physician training and expand the physician workforce, and will fiercely oppose any proposals to cut Federal graduate medical education funding.