Workforce and Physician Shortage - Paper Example

Published: 2023-09-27
Workforce and Physician Shortage - Paper Example
Essay type:  Problem solution essays
Categories:  Medicine Job Stress Healthcare policy
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1595 words
14 min read

Primary care physicians play a vital role when they serve communities with general health. However, despite their significance, the primary care fields face a decrease in an interested number of physicians with a continual increase in the portion of specialists. The United States augments this problem with an overall physician shortage prediction that is evident with uneven distribution in the workforce (O'Rourke et al. 2019). It is beneficial and necessary to have severe efforts in meeting the needs of health care by increasing the number of physicians practicing in the field of care. The workforce and physician shortage contribution comes from several factors that do decrease the practice of physicians. Among the most common reasons is the association of care field while lacking prestige and lifestyle apprehensions such as income and schedule. The challenge is to have adequate validation of these multifaceted concerns. The shortage requires a great deal of time with research that can supply the given deficit in physicians. The current situation of workforce and physician shortage with recent efforts requires improvement.

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Current Situation

Physician scarcity in the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual report depends on several factors projected over the next decade, a shortfall of physicians (Zhang et al. 2020). The majority of the United States' factors come from the growing populace and the requirement of many physicians per individuals in communities. Additionally, the United States population is aging, and individuals use more doctors when they get older than 65. The demand is high for aging people since they require more services from primary care physicians. The aging factor also affects a physician's workforce by most retiring at a later age since they have to work longer than the population in general. Physicians tend to work longer because they stay in school for long and start late in the workforce while finding their work as fulfilling makes them enjoy it as people appreciate what they are doing. Adequate physicians' availability controls the healthcare workforce, increases care access, and improves care quality. Due to the higher insured population, aging, and population growth barriers in the United States, patients cannot meet their needs (Bellettiere et al. 2017). The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, did predict nationally the requirement of the labor force for physician jobs to increase and in a decade shortage because the supply will be low as the demand is growing fast (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2000). There is a steady increase in the nation of physician shortage that negatively affects patient outcomes and influences the workforce delivery of healthcare.

The United States of America, furthermore, in 2020, faces physician shortages that meet the demand with adequate supply and require optimistic demand and supply scenarios. The Association of American Medical Colleges study predicted up to 121,300 physicians shortage experience that America will face by 2030 because of the outstrip supply on demand of physicians (Dall et al. 2019). People argue over the overblown of physician shortage, but this factor affects the present and future healthcare since it can deteriorate the sector of primary care. The impending physician shortage with aging and populace growth in several years to come will need more attention since growth alone in the next ten years can call upon additional physicians up to approximately 33,000. The aging populace Additionally, in the years to come, may require up to 10,000 physicians alone where about two-thirds of them may have at least one chronic disease as senior citizens. In addition to the challenge, physicians choose if time could turn back not to associate in this field with concern overwork and life balance. Reimbursement and compensation for practicing and in the training of physicians are the two most significant concerns that cause workforce and physician shortage. Physicians face a vast amount of hours doing their job and lack family time while their income level is under satisfaction; therefore, this causes them not to recommend younger people in the medical field. Determining a comprehensive approach to improve the healthcare of the nation with the recruitment of underserved and minority students over time can increase the number of practicing physicians.

Recent Efforts to Improve the Situation

The medical field recently has been using technologies such as telemedicine because of its potential to transform the physician's practice (Taylor& Portnoy, 2019). Telemedicine impacts the costs of care, quality, and access to health care; therefore, its collaboration improves physicians' shortage. In the healthcare industry, telehealth technology with the aging baby boomer population allows physicians to be anywhere. There is a sense of revenue opportunity for providers, including veterans, to gain popularity of telehealth as more and more groups of patients choose it. The technology saves thousands of consuming time in physician visits by contributing to a home-based management program to patients with heart failure, hypertension, and diabetes. Without any human effort, patients can receive authorization of refill and receive a medication refill as a standing order in the program of a computer. Telehealth is hopeful with the help of high-res images. People can make a diagnosis with connections via video conference easing workforce burden initiated by many patients seeing a few physicians. Telehealth offers distinct modes of care and increases access to people with the increasing populace by physicians efficiently connecting with patients without them having to visit the office. Telemedicine does offer quality to the physician's workforce by spreading it more through digital records that superiors, assistants or technicians can examine and assess if everything is well during treatment. The lowest paying category level one reimbursements with telehealth assist are under payers only because through a video connection, and there can be sufficient examination, such as in-ear infections. Telehealth offers protection to employees and health patients by having an open outpatient practice for physicians who have decreased the hours.

Application of telemedicine technologies to the medical home and its cooperating physicians increases communication with the prospective of enlightening current models of care. The result of the technique creates continuous care that is less expensive, more efficient, and has a higher quality to upkeep the needs of complex patients (Taylor& Portnoy, 2019). Physicians can now work in remote areas with the added telemedicine technology with ongoing medical education. Supporting medical home patients and families reduces the burden of travel and increment the ability to care. The disadvantage of the technology is that nonmedical home providers in episodic care have the potential to imprudent utilization of healthcare resources, create redundancy, and disrupt the continuity of the care; therefore, physicians should avoid fragmentation. Telehealth, in general, with shift acceleration of technology, dampens workforce and physician shortage by casting a broader net in the aging populace.


Improving the situation of physician workforce shortage requires the providers to expand the scope, have early graduation for medical students, and bring retired physicians back into the workforce. All hands are tight for physicians, especially during the pandemic period, and additional physicians would help curb the shortage by managing more cases that are less complex. More physicians would increment supply and overpower demand by offering more services, especially to the aged. Students who are abroad with early graduation would now be able to seek and enter the United States through open visa processing if there is consideration towards them as of help in the healthcare industry. Training programs for the retired and newly graduated students would facilitate the safety-net facilities and academic medical centers across the United States with vital services that can help the most vulnerable patients. Implementing new policies to address the looming shortage, such as innovative funds to graduate medical education, would help physicians serve underserved and undersupplied areas. The system would encourage enrollment of the medical field for students with the availability of numerous slots. Accreditation would develop, and as part of patient-centered care teams, physicians would train and get rewards for excellence in their work in numbers.

Workforce and physician shortage with recent efforts in the healthcare industry need development. The lack of physicians in the current and predicted future is a problem that has to be tackled. The vulnerable population faces a negative impact because of physician shortage, while primary care roles are under minority students. Medical schools can progress this issue by keeping programs that can attract more students and cultivate their skills to serve the country better. The healthcare industry requires a series of steps to help solve the issue of physician shortage because there is no single solution; therefore, it would take some time to have a better service that meets patients' needs.


Bellettiere, J., Chuang, E., Hughes, S. C., Quintanilla, I., Hofstetter, C. R., & Hovell, M. F. (2017). Association Between Parental Barriers to Accessing a Usual Source of Care and Children’s Receipt of Preventive Services. Public Health Reports, 132(3), 316-325., doi: 10.1177/0033354917699831

Dall, T., West, T., Chakrabarti, R., Reynolds, R., & Iacobucci, W. (2019). Update The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2016 to 2030 Final Report Association of American Medical Colleges. Retrieved from

O’Rourke, P., Tseng, E., Chacko, K., Shalaby, M., Cioletti, A., & Wright, S. (2019). A national survey of internal medicine primary care residency program directors. Journal of general internal medicine, 34(7), 1207-1212. Retrieved from

Taylor, L., & Portnoy, J. M. (2019). Telemedicine for General Pediatrics. Pediatric Annals, 48(12)., doi:10.3928/19382359-20191119-01

United States. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2000). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Zhang, X., Lin, D., Pforsich, H., & Lin, V. W. (2020). Physician workforce in the United States of America: forecasting nationwide shortages. Human Resources for Health, 18(1), 8. Retrieved from

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