In April, the Association of American Medical Colleges released a report suggestive of an oncoming physician shortfall in the United States in The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2017 to 2032. According to data from the study, the U.S. could face a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2031, as the demand for doctors increases faster than supply. Projected shortfall estimates range from 47,000 to 122,000 physicians however, that number could be even higher.
As the national population continues to grow and age, the need for a larger number of doctors available to meet the rising demand increases. While the industry continues to address and reduce population health factors such as smoking, heart disease, and obesity, it also extends American life expectancy, thereby creating an increased demand for doctors. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the nation’s population to grow by more than 10% by the year 2032, with the number of people over the age of 65 increasing by nearly 50%.