Country facing shortage of nearly 90,000 physicians

 The country will soon face a shortage of as many as 90,000 physicians. That's according to a new study by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the biggest need will come from specialists treating the aging population. 

"In the state of Florida alone it's estimated to be about a 7,000 physician shortage which is obviously very important for our state. But nationally we'll be at a huge deficit," said Dr. Katie Alonso, a resident at Orlando Health.

That deficit means…fewer doctors…to treat you. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges or AAMC…as many as 90,000 doctors will be in need across the country by the year 2025. 

"I think part of the problem is obviously the training process and not having enough people go into medicine, not having enough medical schools, or residency spots," said Dr. Alonso.

Another reason why there's a big need of doctors: the baby boomers are hitting retirement age.

"With the aging population we're going to see more chronic diseases that need to be treated and with more chronic diseases you need more doctors taking care of those patients," said Dr. Kwabena Ayesu the Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Orlando Health.

Kr. Ayesu says the problem will only get worse if there aren't enough students going to medical schools, especially when medical schools are becoming more expensive every year.

"People are really reluctant to go through that length of training and education and expenditure only to barely survive," said Dr. Ayesu.

Other reasons driving the demand for doctors: some physicians are retiring early, and more people are getting covered by insurance. Dr. Ayesu says it'll be difficult to solve this problem but some solutions he suggests there should be more residency schools and more funding from the government to help medical students.

"It has to be a multi-faceted approach to this. We know that the funding has been decreased," said Dr. Ayesu.

Not only that, but Dr. Alonso suggested younger students should volunteer in the hospitals.

"Start volunteering, get involved early in high school if you can to get exposed to the medical field and see if it's something for you," said Dr. Alonso. 

If you want a closer look at the study you can visit https://www.aamc.org/download/426242/data/ihsreportdownload.pdf
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