December 15, 2022

Over the next decade, the country will face a serious shortage of up to 124,000 physicians – both primary care and specialty. A large number of physicians are nearing retirement age. The pandemic has made physician burnout a more serious problem than before, and physicians may decide to retire sooner rather than later.

This is a serious problem in itself, but it will also weaken the healthcare system’s ability to face future public health crises.  We must ensure the best possible healthcare access and delivery for our communities and improve the diversity of our workforce in a way that can meet the health equity needs of a growing population.

We urge Congress to pass the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 that would add 14,000 new positions to the number of Graduate Medical Education positions supported by Medicare. This bill has bipartisan support.

We also urge Congress to establish the Pathway to Practice Training Programs which was included in the Build Back Better Act passed by the House.  It would award medical school scholarships to train a diverse, culturally competent physician workforce. It would provide 1,000 Medicare GME positions to hospitals in rural and underserved areas.