Addressing a Shortfall: Experts Say Thousands More Primary Care Physicians Are Needed in Underserved Areas

A shortage of primary care physicians is leading the country to a health care crisis, experts say. The United States is expected to see a shortfall that ranges from 21,100 to 55,200 physicians by 2032, according to data collected from the American Association of Medical Colleges.

About 70% of U.S. medical students pursue specialties while only about 30% practice primary care.

“There’s a maldistribution of doctors by specialty and geographic area,” said Dr. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University on the Caribbean island of Grenada in the West Indies. Olds was the founding dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, which was started to address the the shortage and maldistribution of physicians in California.

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