Sep 21, 2023

How to Stop the Shortage of Doctors


Supply and demand: It's a simple concept with serious implications. And when it comes to the medical field, we're talking about caring for the health and wellness of people who really need it. The shortage of doctors has been of growing concern, and we're here to take action to stop it.

But Wait, Why is There a Shortage of Doctors in the First Place?

Great question.

There are a few reasons doctors are in short supply. For starters, there's the wear and tear to consider. It takes nearly a decade to train to become a doctor. Once you do, you work very long, very grueling, emotionally and physically demanding hours.

Then, one must consider the declining insurance reimbursement rates. It's an undesirable factor that's making people pursuing a career in medicine rethink their path entirely.

At this rate, challenging years lie ahead. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) says that by 2025, we'll have a shortage of physicians falling somewhere between 46,000 and 90,000. The American Medical Association (AMA) puts this number at closer to 130,000.

Why Should We Care Right Now, Then?

Any way you cut it, the United States is going to be in trouble, if we continue on this road. The time to take action is now because, as previously stated, it takes almost a decade to train a physician.

If we want to solve this problem by 2025, the time to start was actually 2015. We've already fallen behind.

What Can We Do About the Shortage of Doctors?

Understandably, the solution people frequently jump to is to simply send patients to physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NP).

However, this brings up an entirely new set of questions.

  • Will the quality of care be the same?
  • What about procedures only physicians can do?
  • Does this mean that PAs and NPs will start doing things you would normally need to train much longer for?

It's not to dismiss the knowledge and expertise of PAs and NPs, but they are different professions. We need more doctors, plain and simple.

This is where international medical graduates (IMGs) come into the equation.

IMGs already take up thousands of residency spots each year. However, in order for them to accomplish that, they need to position themselves as competitive candidates. One requirement is to train in ACGME-accredited hospitals.

While there might be extra hurdles involved, more and more hospitals across the country are welcoming IMGs. This could effectively help us combat the shortage of doctors in the United States.

The lack of physicians is intimidating, but there is a solution, and C.H.H.A. can help. We work with IMGs to get them the best education and training in the United States. You don't have to tackle the process alone. We help them with everything from their residency interview to any and all paperwork to matching into the right program for them and gaining clinical experience.

Contact us today to learn how we connect international medical graduates with U.S. hospitals.

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