New research confirms major shortage of doctors; how Toledo is preparing

New research confirms major shortage of doctors; how Toledo is preparing

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - You may like your family doctor or specialist, but a crisis is coming in health care.

A new study shows the country could be down 100,000 doctors in the next 13 years.

The new information comes from new research by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

It confirms an expected shortage that the researchers said will create a "real risk" to patient care.
The research said there will be a shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 doctors by the year 2030.

The shortage for primary care physicians would be between 7,300 and 43,100.

And non-primary specialty care is expected to have a shortfall of 33,500 to 61,800 physicians.
Dr. Randy Schlievert of Mercy Health is a pediatrician but also the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

He said some people in rural areas are driving hundreds of miles to see a specialist.

He said this will be a crisis if health systems don't plan ahead.

He said some reasons for the shortage are doctors retiring in their fifties, baby boomers getting older and sicker, and medical school debt, plus many other stresses.

"The regulatory demands, the technology, the documentation, I think any physician would tell you that all this has been getting in the way of us just being able to take care of our patients and form those lifelong relationships," Dr. Schlievert said. "People are burning out. Physicians have burn out and depression and suicide rates that are the highest of any profession in America."

Dr. Schlievert said Mercy Health saw this shortage coming and has increased pediatric programs and cardiovascular disease fellowships as well as adding more family medicine programs.

But he says the federal government needs to create more residency slots.

A ProMedica spokesperson told us they are teaming up with UT to recruit and train doctors to practice here in Toledo and the health system has a dedicated team of doctor recruiters.

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