The United States is facing a critical shortage of doctors that could seriously jeopardize the ability of a patient to get medical care in the coming years.
Or, at least, that’s the message the medical community has been pushing for several years now. And the media (including this reporter) have swallowed the line without much question.
But is the shortage real? Not necessarily, say a growing number of health economists and analysts.
The most widely publicized prediction of a looming crisis comes from the Association of American Medical Colleges , which has said that by 2025, the U.S. will be short roughly 130,000 doctors.
It’s not hard to see how the group makes that calculation. Millions of people are getting health insurance for the first time under the federal Affordable Care Act. At the same time, 10,000 baby boomers are qualifying for Medicare every day, says Dr. Atul Grover, chief public policy officer of the AAMC.