Doctors and Nurses
The U.S. faces a shortage of 35,000 to 44,000 general internists to provide primary care for adults by 2025, according to a study in Health Affairs. The study also found that population growth and aging will increase the workloads of family physicians and general internists who treat adults by about 29% between 2005 and 2025.
The supply of generalists who treat adults would increase by 11% if graduation rates remained at 2005 levels, although the supply of generalists who provide adult care in 2025 would be only 2% above 2005 levels if an ongoing decline in general medicine graduates continues, according to the study. Supply and demand for generalist care for children should be fairly balanced, the study found.
The researchers write that interventions need to take place in order to maintain or increase availability of generalists to treat adults. Such efforts could include increases in reimbursements for primary care and incentives such as loan forgiveness for medical school graduates who enter primary care practice (Colwill et al, Health Affairs, 5/5).