The urgent need for qualified primary and specialty care physicians persists as U.S. is expected to face shortage of 124,000 doctors by 2034
Washington, D.C. – As the health needs of an aging population continuously increase and the country faces an ongoing doctor shortage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the reintroduction of the bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act to considerably increase Medicare-supported doctor training slots to address the growing nationwide physician shortage crisis. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the United States is expected to face a shortage of up to 124,000 primary care and specialty physicians by 2034.
“In the midst of growing demand for medical treatments and services, our country continues to face a shortage of trained physicians. It is critical that we bridge the gap,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan legislation would support critical training opportunities needed to alleviate the physician shortage and improve access to health care, particularly in rural or underserved communities, which in turn promotes healthier lives.”
At a Senate Health Committee last month, Senator Collins questioned health care leaders on ways to increase Americans’ access to primary care. In February, Senator Collins introduced University of New England (UNE) President Dr. James Herbert to her colleagues on the Senate Health Committee where he discussed the need to address workforce shortages in the health care field.
The bipartisan Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act would lift the arbitrary cap on the number of Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) positions and gradually raise the number of GME positions by an additional 14,000 over seven years. The legislation prioritizes an increase in positions in hospitals located in states with new medical schools, training over their caps, in rural areas, and serving Health Professional Areas (HPSAs).