By 2030, there will be a significant gap between the number of physicians who are practicing in the U.S. and the number needed to care for our aging population, according to new data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). At best, it would amount to a shortfall of 40,800 providers—at worst, 104,900, the association says. For primary care, the estimated shortage will be between 8,700 and 43,100 physicians by 2030. Emergency medicine, anesthesiology, radiology, neurology, and psychiatry, among others will likely see a shortage of between 18,600 and 31,800 physicians by 2030, according to IHS Markit, which administered the study. One of the key challenges is that there’s a swell in the number of American reaching “senior” status, a period of life where they’ll need more care than they have in the past. The combination of those factors is likely to mean patients will have even more difficulty in getting timely appointments to see their PCP. Urgent care operators should continue efforts to make the span of services they offer known, for the mutual benefit of patients who may have nowhere else to go and of the industry itself.
Urgent Care May Become Even More Important as Physician Shortage Approaches