Why Fears Of A Physician Shortage ‘Crisis’ May Be Overblown

Despite the common narrative that the U.S. is facing a severe shortage of medical doctors, results from a new survey show otherwise.

By Rhonda FanningNovember 12, 2019 7:13 am,

In April, the Association of American Medical Colleges warned that there would soon be a serious shortage of doctors. It predicted a deficit of over 120,000 physicians by 2032. Organizations and institutions have been trying to stave off such a shortage by building new medical schools, and more. But now, data from a recent Texas Medical Center national survey indicates the shortage might not be as dire as experts thought. 

Jenny Deam is a health care reporter for the Houston Chronicle, and says many have repeated the notion that there will be a doctor shortage in the future – so much so that it became an established fact.

“And what was fascinating to me in this survey, while the doctors themselves say, ‘Sure, we think it could happen; we’re going to prepare for it’ … when you ask them, ‘How sure are you?’ they say, ‘Well, we’re not,’” she says. “So that kind of calls into question that perhaps some of this has been overstated.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why responses to the new survey contradict the idea of a widespread physician shortage 

– Why it’s sometimes easier to get a doctor’s appointment in rural Texas than in urban Texas, according to the survey 


Written by Antonio Cueto.