US Medicine Facing Crisis: Only 25% of New Doctors Becoming Primary Care Physicians, Rural Areas Face Severe Shortages (+video)

photo credit: jillk61

Despite a shortage of U.S. primary care doctors, less than 25 percent of new doctors go into this field, and fewer still work in rural areas, researchers say.

Lead study author Dr. Candice Chen, an assistant research professor of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, said the study also found only 4.8 percent of the new primary care physicians set up shop in rural areas.

“If residency programs do not ramp up the training of these physicians the shortage in primary care, especially in remote areas, will get worse,” Chen said in a statement. “The study’s findings raise questions about whether federally funded graduate medical education institutions are meeting the nation’s need for more primary care physicians.”

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