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Shortfall of family doctors means US faces “absolute crisis” by 2020

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3431 (Published 24 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3431
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    A predicted shortfall of 40 000 family doctors in the United States by 2020 has sparked fears that there will be too few doctors to cope with increased demand, including that arising from Barack Obama’s proposals for healthcare reform.

    The country faces “an absolute crisis” in the provision of primary care doctors, said Ted Epperly, president of the 93 000 member American Academy of Family Physicians, which raised the alarm.

    Students about to start medical school will be entering practice in 2020, but only one in 10 medical students currently enters primary care residencies; the rest all opt for specialties, Dr Epperly said. “We’re poised to do healthcare reform, but we …

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