Doctor Shortage Predicted

Physician's Money Digest, January31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 2

Mounting evidence from physicianrecruitment firms and experts in the fieldof physician workforce issues has led theCouncil of Graduate Medical Education(COGME; www.cogme.gov) to abandonits longstanding forecast of a doctor surplus.COGME now sees a doctor shortagein the offing, partly because of a trendamong younger physicians to work shorterhours. Also blended into the mix thatled to the reversal is an aging babyboomer population that will need morecare and a shift toward higher demandsfor specialist services as managed carebarriers crumble. COGME is adopting areport that calls for an additional 3000medical school graduates to counteractan estimated shortage of 85,000 medicaldoctors by 2020. The report also recommendsa change in the distribution of residencyopenings to more closely reflectmarket demand.