Got doctors? By 2015, the United States will be short about 63,000 physicians and about 33,100 cardiologists, oncologists and emergency-medicine specialists, according to the Assn. of American Medical Colleges.
The association originally predicted a shortfall of 39,600 doctors but revised that figure up on Sept. 30 after considering a projected 36% spike in Americans 65 and older and the expected retirement of a third of physicians nationwide in the next decade.
Though U.S. medical schools churn out 7,000 graduates a year, the rate may not be able to keep up with demand. Foreign doctors (which includes non-U.S. citizens and Americans schooled abroad) account for 25% of doctors nationwide, and a study released in August found they provide the same quality of care as their American-trained counterparts.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports on the rise of businesses that prepare foreign physicians for work in the U.S.: "South Florida center trains doctors from around the world."
-- Mary Forgione / Los Angeles Times