Looking for growing opportunities in healthcare? Primary care is the place to look. With the Affordable Care Act adding many more patients who will be insured and seeking care, primary care doctors are more and more in demand.
US Statistics showed in 2010 that there was 9000 less primary care doctors than what was needed. By 2025, it is predicted that there will be a shortage of 65,000 primary care doctors. In addition to the Affordable Care Act, there will be 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day for the next 2 decades. More and more Americans will have insurance coverage and be in need of a doctor. This shortage is exacerbated by the fact that only 20% of residents currently choose internal medicine, family practice or pediatrics.
Part of the reason fewer medical students choose primary care is a matter of economics. Family practice doctors make approximately $180,000 – $210,000 per year. Compare that to an orthopedic surgeon who is likely to earn more than $500,000 per year. As the nation faces a increased need for primary care doctors, it is likely that compensation levels will need to increase for primary care.
The nation’s medical schools are attempting to meet this growing need by opening medical schools focused solely on primary care training. Additionally, the schools are using financial incentives and loan forgiveness to place doctors in underserved areas.
Further, there is a growing focus on having physician extenders like nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, etc. to assist the primary care doctors in proving care to a growing population of patients. Healthcare practitioners will have to continue to pursue creative solutions to this growing need.
Tell us whether you are considering growing your primary care practice? Share your ideas with us by clicking on the comment button below. We’d love to hear from you.
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