Unclogging the doctor pipeline

By the year 2025, the United States will be short 124,000 to 159,000 physicians, the  American Medical Association predicts. Some shortages have already begun in 22 states and 15 specialties, including primary care and general surgery. The problem isn't that young people are avoiding the field. Indeed, the doctors say, medical schools turn away many qualified candidates. But the problem comes after medical school, when students search for residencies. The number of U.S. medical school graduates is increasing, but the number of residency positions isn't keeping pace due to a lack of funding, the doctors say. 

The American Medical Association, meeting in Chicago, is urging payers to help fund residency positions. Is this a problem in Philadelphia? We have so many teaching hospitals, but are residency positions in decline? Can anyone offer any local insight into this? Does Philadelphia count as an under-served area because of our poverty rate?

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