If it feels like you’re spending more time in the waiting room of your doctor’s office these days, it’s not your imagination. Family doctors are busier than ever. For many people, it is becoming difficult to even find a doctor, say experts who blame Obamacare for accelerating the nation’s doctor shortage.
According to a new analysis by the Association of American Medical Colleges:
• The United States now is now facing a dire shortage of some 9,000 primary care doctors — including general internists, family doctors, geriatricians, and pediatricians.
• Over the next 15 years, those shortages will worsen dramatically — particularly in rural areas, inner cities, and other areas where fewer doctors practice — with the deficit projected to hit 63,000 by 2015 and be double that number by 2025.
• Shortfalls are also predicted for a range of medical specialties, including allergy specialists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, general surgeons, and emergency doctors.
• Medical schools are not likely to churn out enough doctors to head off the crisis because fewer medical students are interested in primary care as a career because of lower pay and more insurance red tape.
What’s driving the trend, health experts say, is the nation’s growing population of older Americans using more healthcare resources. At the same time, as many as 1 in 3 practicing physicians are nearing retirement age.