An increase in the number of the nationâ€™s elderly and the aging population of doctors is causing a doctor shortage in the United States, with estimates that the demand for doctors will outstrip supply by 2020, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The Association of Colleges of Nursing notes a similar dilemma for the nationâ€™s registered nurses. Read Knowledge@Emory for the full article.Â
Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health affairs at Emory, CEO of Emoryâ€™s Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of Emory Healthcare, says, â€œThere is an ever-changing cycle of shortages. Advances in technology and treatment can reduce or increase demand for specialists needed in one area or another much more quickly than it takes to train or absorb them.â€
For instance, the demand for cardiac surgeons has slowed dramatically as a result of better medications and stents. Changes in insurance and Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement can also impact specialties, he says.
â€œSince medical school graduates now carry so much debt, the specialty they choose is often influenced by potential income, which is most evident in the low numbers going into primary care.â€