It’s a myth that America doesn’t have enough doctors. The key to the future of US medicine is to utilize more nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants can help by serving as “physician extenders”.
By Maggie Mahar
JANUARY 28, 2014 – No doubt you have read headlines like this one: “The Next Obamacare Debacle: A Massive Doctor Shortage.” Before you panic, remember that reform’s opponents are prone to exaggeration, and they are responsible for much of the fear-mongering surrounding this issue.
Granted, it is harder to ignore the American Association of Medical Colleges’ (AAMC’s) warning that in 10 years, the US will need 45,000 more primary care physicians (pdf). But you also should also take the AAMC’s numbers with a grain of salt. It has a vested interest in increasing government funding for medical colleges. Secondly, its projections assume that most doctors will continue to practice medicine the way they…
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