Sunday, July 29, 2012

The NY Times is catching on---Nice article on the impending Physician shortage in the US. Oh, you did not know that was going to happen? Econ 101...

The Affordable Care Act largely forgot about the "Supply-side" of "Demand and Supply".  Here is an article in today's NYTIMES regarding the inevitable doctor shortage that will result.  I included a couple of graphs I have used previously to show how this would be a predictable outcome.

The question we have to ask (looking at the first graph) is why has the number of graduates from US medical schools been constant since 1980? 

Econ 101 question: If you increase demand without an increase in supply, what happens to price (absent price controls)?

Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Law (NY TIMES)

""Health experts, including many who support the law, say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. It typically takes a decade to train a doctor....       

We have a shortage of every kind of doctor, except for plastic surgeons and dermatologists,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, the dean of the new medical school at the University of California, Riverside, founded in part to address the region’s doctor shortage. “We’ll have a 5,000-physician shortage in 10 years, no matter what anybody does...       

The pool of doctors has not kept pace, and will not, health experts said. Medical school enrollment is increasing, but not as fast as the population. The number of training positions for medical school graduates is lagging. Younger doctors are on average working fewer hours than their predecessors. And about a third of the country’s doctors are 55 or older, and nearing retirement...""
 Here is what this situation looks like graphically. 

Source: Carpe Diem

Source: Carpe Diem

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