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Rethinking the shortage of primary care physicians

Hackey, Robert B., PhD; Grasso, Victoria; LaRochelle, Madeleine; Seaver, Katelyn

Journal of the American Academy of PAs: June 2018 - Volume 31 - Issue 6 - p 47–50
doi: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000533662.88073.15
Special Article
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ABSTRACT For decades, public concerns about a shortage of physicians led federal and state policy makers to pursue policies to increase the number of medical graduates. In response, the number of medical schools increased dramatically over the past decade. By 2016, the United States produced more new physicians than ever before. Expanding medical school enrollments, however, were not matched by a corresponding increase in the number of physicians choosing primary care. To date, few policy makers questioned the conventional wisdom that more is better when it comes to the supply of primary care physicians. Instead, policy makers should consider alternative approaches to increase access to patient-centered primary care.

Robert B. Hackey is a professor of health policy and management at Providence (R.I.) College. Victoria Grasso and Madeleine LaRochelle are students in the health policy and management program at Providence College. Katelyn Seaver is a 2018 graduate of the health policy and management program at Providence College. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Physician Assistants
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