The United States will need an additional 52,000 primary care doctors to cope with population growth, newly insured people and an aging population, a group of researchers has forecast.
The researchers -- from several institutions including Georgetown University and the Robert Graham Center, Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, Washington, D.C. – looked at several factors to come up with their total. Others have projected different numbers but agree that there will be a shortage of doctors.
In this projection, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, the authors considered population growth, the longer lives of people and the passage of the Affordable Care Act to come up with the 52,000 figure.
“Population growth will be the greatest driver of expected increase in primary care utilization,” the study’s authors wrote. And insurance expansion will contribute the need for just 8,000 of those doctors, the researchers said.