FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Is There a Doctor in the House?

An article in the Annals of Internal Medicine forecasts a shortage of doctors in the U.S. within the next 20 years. Richard Cooper, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin predicts that the U.S. will need up to 200,000 additional doctors between 2020 and 2025.

Fewer graduates from medical schools, combined with an aging population, are causing the shortage. However, others point out that shortages may not necessarily be across-the-board, and will likely vary by specialty and location. Other variables such as new healthcare technology, recruitment initiatives by medical schools, insurance reimbursement practices and malpractice will also affect the number of doctors in the coming years.