The U.S. could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, according to a report published Wednesday by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The association urged medical schools to train more physicians and use different strategies in doing so. It also encouraged the federal government to intervene with funding and legislation.
According to the report, "The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2016-2030," the shortage of physicians in primary care and medical, surgical and other specialties is projected to range from 42,600 to 121,300.
The report attributed the shortage to a growing and aging population. The U.S. population is estimated to rise by almost 11 percent by 2030, and the over-65 age group is expected to increase by 50 percent.
The association offered several ways to reverse the shortage, including training more physicians; educating future physicians in team-based, interprofessional care; developing innovative care-delivery and payment models; and integrating cutting-edge technology and research into the patient care environment. In addition, the association encouraged the government to support federal incentives and programs, increase funding for residency training, and introduce legislation to add 3,000 residency positions over the next five years.