Could doctor shortage cripple healthcare reform?
A shortage of doctors is going to make it hard for millions of newly insured through health care reform to get health care.
December 6th, 2012
10:05 AM ET

Could doctor shortage cripple healthcare reform?

By Jim Roope, CNN

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(CNN) –  A study released this week in the medical journal JAMA, shows that less than a quarter of medical students plan to practice family medicine. That could result in a severe impact to the front lines of health care.

Dr. Atul Grover with the Association of American Medical Colleges says the 10-year trend in fewer family doctors is really going to be felt when healthcare reform is fully implemented.

[:46] “None of us are really accustomed to the kind of waits we’re going to have to endure just to get in the door to see a doctor because all those people who are currently uninsured will all of a sudden wake up in 2014 and have an insurance card and try and access health care services.”

Over the past decade, the number of med students who get into family medicine has dropped 50 percent says Dr. Patrick Dowling, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at UCLA.

[1:28] “You need 40-to-50-percent of your doctors to be generalists for your system to work, I mean that’s what the research shows, and we’re at 32-percent in the country now and we’re producing 18-to-20-percent.”

When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014, getting into see a doctor may look more like the lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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