Shortage of 52,000 primary care doctors projected by 2025

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 3, 2012

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Population growth will drive rising demand for primary care and require an additional 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025, said a study in the November-December issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Using federal survey data on medical expenditures, researchers concluded that there would be a baseline need for 210,000 primary care doctors by 2025. Population growth will increase the need by nearly 33,000 doctors, while the aging population and the Affordable Care Act’s insurance coverage expansion will raise the need by more than 18,000 primary care physicians, according to the study (link).

The 52,000 shortage figure does not account for the potential for pent-up demand for care among those newly insured starting in 2014, nor does it estimate the effect that high-deductible health plans may have in restraining medical utilization, researchers said. In 2010, the Assn. of American Medical Colleges projected a shortage of 130,600 physicians in all specialties, including a shortfall of nearly 70,000 primary care doctors.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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