Don't Believe Dire Warnings of Doctor Shortage

Technology, more help from support teams should solve the problem: 'NYT' op-ed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2013 1:02 PM CST
Don't Believe Dire Warnings of a Doctor Shortage

Headlines about a looming doctor shortage for the US have been kicking around for a while, with the Association of American Medical Colleges forecasting a gap of 130,000 by 2025. Don't believe it, write Drs. Scott Gottlieb and Ezekiel Emanuel in the New York Times. The doomsayers generally cite an aging population and the increased number of people who will have health insurance under ObamaCare. But they neglect to mention that ever-improving medical technology and increased responsibilities for nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and others who support doctors can mitigate the problem.

We will need some policy changes to get this done, say the authors. That includes "expanding the scope of practice laws for nurse practitioners and pharmacists to allow them to provide comprehensive primary care; changing laws inhibiting telemedicine across state lines; and reforming medical malpractice laws that force providers to stick with inefficient practices simply to reduce liability risk." With changes like that, along with technology that makes treatment more efficient, the supposed shortage will vanish. "With doctors, as with drugs or surgery, more is not always better," they write. Click for their full column. (Read more doctors stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.