America’s Physician Shortage Could Top 139,000 by 2033

June 30, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under For Career Seekers, For Employers, For the Workforce

Last modified July 1, 2020

According to new data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. could face a shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians by 2033. “This annual analysis continues to show that our country will face a significant shortage of physicians in the coming years,” AAMC President and CEO David Skorton, MD, said in a news release. “The gap between the country’s increasing healthcare demands and the supply of doctors to adequately respond has become more evident as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge of having enough doctors to serve our communities will get even worse as the nation’s population continues to grow and age.”

AAMC cites population growth and aging as the primary drivers of the projected physician shortage from 2018 to 2033. Improved access to care would increase the need for physicians. The AAMC estimates suggest the current demand could increase by an additional 74,100 to 145,500 physicians if people living in non-metropolitan areas and the uninsured used care the same way as those with coverage in metropolitan areas.

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