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Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

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Shortage of 124,000 Physicians Imminent Without Swift Action


Washington, DC, December 06, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The United States is facing a rapidly escalating physician shortage. By 2025, the country will face a shortage of at least 124,000 physicians, which will be particularly acute in the primary care fields.

In response to this shortage, the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) today released its recommendations for alleviating the crisis. “The Anticipated Physician Shortage: Meeting the Nation’s Need for Physician Services” is available in the APM Perspectives section of the December 2009 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

AAIM’s recommendations for addressing the physician workforce shortage include:

· Strategically increasing the number of Medicare-funded positions for primary care specialties to adequately meet the nation’s health care needs. In addition, AAIM believes new primary care slots should be added in geographic areas of demonstrated need. Ultimately, all health care insurers should have a role in explicitly contributing to GME funding.

· Enhancing the attractiveness of primary care careers by altering the physician reimbursement system, increasing job satisfaction for current and future primary care practitioners, providing incentives for geographic distribution of primary care physicians to areas of greatest need, and applying innovations to educational models.

· Increasing efficiency in the health care delivery system by broadening the use of electronic health records and other advances in health information technology and capitalizing on the use of physician extenders.

Primary care physicians are the “first contact” physicians responsible for providing comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous care for a patient’s health care needs. This includes care for all stages of life, acute care, chronic care, preventive service, and end-of-life care.

Without a robust physician workforce, the nation’s health care system will become increasingly fragmented and inefficient. As a result, increasing access to high quality and affordable health care will not be possible. Finding a solution to the primary care workforce shortage is imperative. Once a solution is implemented in primary care, attention should be directed to the projected shortages in key subspecialties that will also have devastating effects on health care provision.

AAIM is the consortium of five academically focused specialty organizations representing departments of internal medicine at medical schools and teaching hospitals in the United States and Canada. AAIM consists of the Association of Professors of Medicine, the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine, the Association of Specialty Professors, the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine, and the Administrators of Internal Medicine. Through these organizations, AAIM represents department chairs and chiefs; clerkship, residency, and fellowship program directors; division chiefs; and academic and business administrators as well as other faculty and staff in departments of internal medicine and their divisions.

Contact: Nicole V. Baptista
Telephone: (202) 861-9351
Email: nbaptista@im.org

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Contact Information
Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
Nicole Baptista
(202) 861-9351
Contact
www.im.org

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