Essay Shortage of Physicians in the United States

Essay Shortage of Physicians in the United States

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The number of doctors that present in the United States of America directly affects the communities that these doctors serve and plays a large role in how the country and its citizens approach health care. The United States experienced a physician surplus in the 1980s, and was affected in several ways after this. However, many experts today have said that there is currently a shortage of physicians in the United States, or, at the very least, that there will be a shortage in the near future. The nation-wide statuses of a physician surplus or shortage have many implications, some of which are quite detrimental to society. However, there are certain remedies that can be implemented in order to attempt to rectify the problems, or alleviate some of their symptoms.
Just as the economy travels through its cycles, from bear to bull and back again, so does the number of doctors in the country. In the 1960s, the government began an attempt to create more physicians using various methods. One such method was to reward medical schools for training a certain number of doctors (Bernstein 1013). This would give the medical schools an incentive to accept more students and to allow the students to fully graduate and go on to attend residency programs. Another such method was to give a monetary reward to residency programs for providing graduate medical education. This totaled approximately $7 billion, a sum large enough to “pay the tuition and living expenses of every medical student in the United States” with a large portion left over as well (Bernstein 1013). Because of these actions taken by the government, many more physicians were created, causing a physician surplus throughout the 1980s to the late 1990s, although this claim was based on ...


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...lve some of the effects of the physician shortage. However, by increasing the number of foreign residents-in-training would decrease the number of residency seats that could be held by American students. Like this, it can be said that there are solutions that could rectify the situation, but these solutions may affect another trend or factor in a detrimental way.
It has been said by many experts that there has been a surplus of physicians in the past, but that there will soon be a shortage of physicians. This shortage will have been instigated by many factors, and is predicted to have various effects on society, both immediate and long term. There have been proposed solutions to this shortage, but there is a fine balance to be found with these many solutions and factors. However, once this balance is found, the long-term mending of the physician shortage may begin.

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