Where have all the primary care docs gone?
In the United States, we are now short approximately 9,000 primary care doctors. These are the general internists, family doctors, geriatricians and general pediatricians, the doctors responsible for diagnosing new illnesses, managing chronic ones, advocating preventive care and protecting wellness. And health care leaders predict that that deficit will worsen dramatically in the next 15 years. Specialties like general surgery, neurosurgery and emergency medicine will also become critically understaffed; but primary care will be hardest hit, with a shortfall of more than 65,000 doctors.
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