Michigan doctors predict statewide physician shortage

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 27, 2006

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Two more organizations predict a statewide shortage of physicians in Michigan.

A Michigan Dept. of Community Health survey and a Blue Ribbon Physician Workforce Commission study conducted by Michigan's four medical schools confirm a statewide shortage projected by the Michigan State Medical Society in 2005. The Dept. of Community Health survey and the MSMS study concluded the state will be short 4,000 to 6,000 physicians by 2020. The Blue Ribbon group found the greatest shortages would be for family physicians, followed by general surgeons, cardiologists, internists, psychiatrists and radiologists, in that order.

Aging baby boomers, the anticipated retirement of older doctors, and the changing demographics and practice patterns of physicians in Michigan and across the nation are among the factors that have led experts to predict a physician shortage. More than 57% of practicing Michigan physicians report they plan to retire by 2020, according to the MSMS.

Even if medical school enrollments are expanded, MSMS President Alan M. Mindlin, MD, said the larger medical classes will not solve this problem unless the graduate medical education cap under Medicare is lifted.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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