Physician Disability: More Medical Schools Opening to Address Doctor Shortage
According to Forbes, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which represents medical schools and teaching hospitals, there are now 18 medical schools under development. The group, all in various stages of development, marks the largest number of medical schools to open in decades. This post is brought to you by Physician Disability Insurance.
With the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, 32 million newly insured Americans are expected to enter the health care system. The AAMC predicts a physician shortage that is projected to rise to more than 90,000 by 2020. Medical schools have increased enrollment, but it is not enough to cover the increasing need for more physicians. A shortage of physicians could mean much more limited access to healthcare and longer wait times for patients.
The increase in medical schools is a push to narrow the need for physicians. Primary care physicians will be in especially high demand to improve the quality of medical care and lower costs by keeping patients out of the hospital, which ranks up significant medical costs.
The next step is ensuring there are enough residency programs to accommodate the larger number of medical school graduates. According to Forbes, the Balance Budget Act of 1997 capped the number of available slots available as part of a reduction of Medicare spending. Doctors had hoped that a provision in the new healthcare legislation would increase the number of funded residency slots, but it didn’t make the final cut.
Theoretically, doctors trained in other countries could theoretically help the primary-care shortage. However, all doctors who obtained medical degrees in other countries must complete a U.S. residency in order to get a license in the U.S., hitting the same bottleneck shortage that American medical students face.
This impending gap increases pressure on current practicing physicians. They may have to see more patients and work longer hours to compensate for the doctor shortage. And what happens if you are no longer able to practice? Physician disability insurance can help.
Take care to protect yourself, your family, and your career. You’ve committed significant financial resources and many hours of study and experience. Physician disability insurance can help were worker’s comp, social security, and savings may not be enough.