Family Physician Shortage

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A doctors group expects a serious shortfall of family physicians in Texas and at least four other states by 2020.

Population growth and rising numbers of elderly people in Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Texas and Idaho will make the need in those states most critical. That's according to Dr. Perry Pugno of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

A report by the group estimates the number of family doctors must grow by 39 percent during the next 14 years to keep up with the nation's needs.

There are about 100-thousand licensed family doctors in the United States.

But the number of U.S. medical graduates going into family medicine has been falling - by more than 50 percent from 1997 to 2005.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has scheduled a rally in Washington, D.C. today.

The doctors group wants Congress to increase Medicare payments to family doctors to help ease the shortage.


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