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Supreme Court's decision means more physicians are needed

A just-posted Health Blog entry expands upon something that Darrell Kirch, MD, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, pointed out earlier: It's imperative, in light of the Supreme Court decision today, that our country's physician-shortage problem be fixed. Mark Long reports:

[The AAMC] reckons that, taking into account the new demand, the U.S. will be more than 60,000 doctors short in 2015 — the year all those newly covered patients enter the system — around 90,000 short five years later.

Doctors groups say the survival of the 2010 health law will help alleviate the shortage by improving how care is delivered and by providing incentives for medical students to become primary-care physicians. But lawmakers must do more to increase the number of government-backed residencies and take other measures to help close the gap, says Dr. Atul Grover, AAMC’s chief public policy officer.

“We’re going to have a real challenge on our hands,” Grover tells the Health Blog. “We have no idea how we’re going to deal with that demand.” He notes that the influx of newly insured comes as 10,000 people a day turn 65.

Previously: Supreme Court mostly upholds Affordable Care Act, Medical schools create programs to address physician shortage in rural United States, Physician shortages exist in speciality areas of medicine, too, Retiring physicians and nurses could strain health-care system and Health-care reform and the primary care physician shortage
Photo by Alex E. Proimos

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