California, Florida and Texas are the three states expected to have the greatest estimated physician shortage by 2030, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Library of Medicine.
“Improving quality of care, increasing access to care and controlling healthcare costs depend on the adequate availability of healthcare providers. Due to aging, population growth and a greater insured population following the Affordable Care Act (ACA), physician availability to patients has been recognized as one of the top barriers to meet the healthcare needs of patients in the United States of America,” according to the 2020 study.
The study also found that Mississippi, New Mexico and Louisiana are facing the largest ratio shortage (physician shortage per 100,000 people) of all the states. Every state shows an increase in shortage ratio between 2017 and 2030.
Evaluating the current and future healthcare workforce is difficult and includes many complex factors, including population growth, population age, the area’s economics, healthcare policy, etc. The study predicts that, by 2030, California will be short more than 32,660 jobs, Florida will be missing nearly 22,000 and Texas about 20,420. The study attributes the high shortages to the growing demand fueled by growing and aging populations, as well as aging physicians.
“Taking California as an example, the state population and elderly population will grow by 112% and 148% between 2017 and 2030, respectively. Meanwhile, 33.4% of all active physicians in California are over 60 years old and within 5 years of retirement, although at the national level, only 30.3% of all active physicians are 60 years old and above,” the report states. “From 2006 to 2016, the number of medical students at Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) schools increased by 20.7% (7,387 students), and the number of residents and fellows increased by 12.8% (10,429 students). On the basis of current trends, the number of new licensees per year is not large enough to replace these physicians as they retire, and physician demand will outpace the physician supply within the state of California.”
Physician Retraining & Reentry’s online curriculum is available to physicians in any state who are interested in retraining and reentering medicine as primary care physicians to help address the growing physician shortage.
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