Monday, June 05, 2006

Aging Doctors Contribute to Looming Physician Shortage

Writing for the Los Angeles Times about how an aging America will need more doctors, but supply isn't keeping up, Lisa Girion reports that just as aging baby boomers will push urologists, geriatricians and other physicians into overdrive, much of the nation's physician workforce also is graying and headed for the door.

Specifically, "a third of the nation's 750,000 active, post-residency physicians are older than 55 and likely to retire just as the boomer generation moves into its time of greatest medical need." In fact, by 2020, "physicians are expected to hang up their stethoscopes at a rate of 22,000 a year, up from 9,000 in 2000. That is only slightly less than the number of doctors who completed their training last year."

Source: Los Angeles Times "Physician Shortage Looms, Risking a Crisis, as Demand for Care Explodes" (June 4, 2006)

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