Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dec 17, 2009. Bloomberg reports on projected shortage of doctors in the United States:

Last year, there were 16,721 fewer primary-care doctors than needed in inner city and rural areas, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

The doctor crunch is a result of an aging population and a rising demand for specialists, according to the federal health department. By 2025, the nation as a whole will confront a shortfall of as many as 159,300 doctors of all varieties, said Ed Salsberg, director of the Center for Workforce Studies at the Washington-based medical college association.

Not all educators agree that more medical students, more residencies or even more doctors are the best solution for the doctor shortage.

“We are ending up with a population suffering from a variety of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension,” said Edward Buckley, vice dean for medical education at Duke. “But you don’t need doctors for much of this chronic health care. You need people who can talk with the patient and visit the patient in their home.”

Virtualization seems to be the best way to go forward.

tags: health, problem, solution, constraint, course, example

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