Physician Education and Scholarship Center

Physician Shortage

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that there will be a shortage of 91,500 doctors by 2020 and 130,000 phycicians by 2025 in the United States.  It also predicts that there is a current shortage of 13,700 physicians in all specialties.

Some of the reasons for this shortage include:
  • Healthcare reforms: 32 million more Americans will have access to medical insurance and 36 million to Medicare
  • Growing population of seniors: Estimated to grow by 37% over the next 10 years
  • Specialty care: An older person often require more specialty care, due to higher rate of susceptibilies to disease.

  • Early retirement: Nearly one-third of all physicians are expected to retire in the next decade


  • Salary issues:  Shortage of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) is because the annual salary is significantly lower for PCPs than any specialist's salary.

Solutions offered by AAMC include

  • Congressional approval for at least a 15% increase in residency training slots which will add 4,000 physicians a year into the pipeline.
  • A 15% increase in the current $9.1 billion/year Medicare payment for residency training

These solutions will accommodate graduates of international medical schools enabling these physicians to obtain a license to practice in the country which contributes to alleviating the physician shortage in the United States.

Other solutions include the creation of more medical schools throughout the United States with the goal of creating more opportunities to the large pool of applicants. Particularly medical students that do not get accepted into medical school, due to the disproportion between the number of applicants and the number of medical schools in the US.

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