NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – America will soon face a shortage of as many as 90,000 doctors.

CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports a combination of retiring doctors and increasing demand will lead to a significant need for primary care physicians. But some medical schools are working to ease the problem.

Dr. Katelyn Norman just started her internal medicine residency at Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut. It’s one of the final steps to achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.

“The work you do has such consequences for people and their lives and their health,” she said.

The U.S. is in need of more primary care doctors, partly because many older physicians are retiring, citing increased paperwork and decreased time with patients.

Norman is part of the first graduating class at Quinnipiac University’s new medical school that is tackling the shortage in internal medicine, OBGYN, pediatrics and psychiatry.

The school’s dean, Dr. Bruce Koeppen, says primary care applicants are put at the top of the admissions list.

“Your primary care physician is your navigator through the healthcare system,” he said. “They see you for every particular problem you have, they can refer you to specialists if that’s the case, but they’re the ones who know you the best.”

By 2025 there could be a shortage of up to 35,000 primary care physicians. Koeppen says money plays a role.

“If you’re graduating from medical school with several hundred thousand dollars in debt, you may choose a sub-specialty where your earning potential is greater,” he said.

Still, Norman said she made the right choice about the kind of doctor she wants to be.

“If you’re able to control their pain, if you’re able to explain their risk factors when they’re afraid of inheriting something from family… It’s equally beautiful and rewarding,” she said.

Another reason for the looming doctor shortage is that as our population grows older, we are all going to need more health care. And most of that can and should be handled by primary care physicians, Dr. Max reported.

Other medical schools like the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine are also prioritizing primary care applicants.

Comments (62)
  1. When Obamacare kicked in and added millions to the insured roles not one doctor, nurse, xray tech, lab tech, health care worker of any kind was added. What did anyone who could use an logic could see this would be one of the results.

  2. Tom Thomason says:

    This couldn’t have been an unintended consequence of Obamacare could it?

  3. Gill Nosh says:

    The shortage is done on purpose. If you really need all these doctors there are plenty of doctors from other countries who would be quite delighted to work in the US.

    1. Jackie Baer says:

      We need to use Nurse Practitioners to help fill the void with “full practice”. NPs can help with increased access, reduced cost, and better outcomes. 85% of NPs are trained in primary care and supported with 50 years of conclusive evidence. Why are not support proactive legislation for our civilians? Even the VA and the FTC support this..

  4. Good luck trying to import them from other countries. It seems non-English speaking indigents might get priority.

  5. They are all becoming fry cooks because doctors are so underpaid. Is that what we’re supposed to believe?

    1. Ray Williams says:

      Primary care physicians are underpaid. They have the same student loans as specialists, but make more than half as much. Try reading the article.

  6. My father was a Physician, myself and all of my siblings (5 of us) all had the grades to go to Medical School… he strongly steered all of us away from the profession as he correctly predicted the socialization of the Healthcare industry. Being a Physician is a rotten job now and will get even worse under a single payer the Socialist Democrats are clamoring for. Why go through 8-10 years of rigorous training, wrack up a couple hundred thousand in tuition fees and come out to make $100,000 a year? Think we don’t have enough Physicians now, wait until the Democrats invoke “single payer” nobody will want to be an MD then. Look forward to having “C” students holding your life in their hands… or some guy from Guatemala. Eventually this will fail and we’ll get back to a deregulated Healthcare industry in 100 years…

  7. Guess you need some of the legal experts to become doctors…I mean the legal experts voted for Obamacare so single payer for legal services should be 1st…then we can chat single payer for doctors…who it seems have all said screw you to Obamacare.

  8. Kelley Eidem says:

    Don’t worry because I’ve recently invented what is called “The Bliss Machine.” This is not a joke or a fantasy. For example, I had a severe limp for nine years due to a broken back. For the last seven days at least there has coincidentally been no limp at all. Five others have also experienced wonderful coincidences out of six people.

    One $30 Bliss Machine might replace a million dollar doctor.

  9. Niki says:

    Easy solution – let pharmacists prescribe. In every other civilized western country, pharmacists can prescribe. They can prescribe in 2 states – California and North Carolina. Just let us prescribe in every state. But they won’t. Why? The AMA keeps lobbying congress to not allow pharmacists to prescribe, because if we did, doctors would stand to lose a lot of money. But now they are making patients come in 4 times a year just to get prescriptions. How is that fair to patients? Most of us pharmacists these have Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, and we are way over-educated for what we are allowed to do.

  10. One part of the article that makes no sense to me is that representatives from two different medical schools stated that they prioritize “internal medicine’ applicants. That’s not how it works. You don’t pick your residency training until the fourth year of med school. The applicants aren’t stupid. If they think there will be some preference if they put on their application that they want to pursue primary care – they’ll put that down and then when it comes time to choose their residency they will go for whatever they want.

  11. Kim Jernigan says:

    Some of the things that make America great are capitalism and the freedom to choose. Why would anyone want to spend years going to school to get a government job with no choice and set pay? This is where the Democrats want to take our healthcare system.

    1. Nailed it Kim! Government intervention into the free-market system never works.

  12. Peter Bern says:

    Wait a minute, this article is bogus. There is also a huge issue with the AMA. You know, the monopoly the federal government authorized to hand out licenses to be a doctor? They have, with intent, reduced the number of licenses over years for the purpose of boosting their income. Any doctor if honest will tell you this….but if asked they will deny it. It was done as a group, an entity’s decision to limit licenses to drive up incomes. The article is extremely defective for not even mentioning this let alone investigating it.

    1. Cris Kennedy says:

      The AMA has no say so in how many docs are produced. You are an ignoramus.

  13. I’m a 50 year old physician. Nobody in their right mind – especially no young, savvy, smart person – would go into medicine now unless they are delusional (or doing 100% research). It’s corporatized, bureaucratized, and commoditized to the point where the system can’t afford MD’s – only providers like NP’s, PA’s seem to satisfy thin profit margin CFO spreadsheets. PAtients and providers suffer at the hands of CEO’s – as everywhere else – until either group can retake control of of care without endless middlemen’s fingers in the govt honeypot!

  14. Paul Roberts says:

    HMO’s have made doctors into help desk personnel and dictate how they do their job. Every aspect is managed. There is no longer time for a doctor to have a “Personal” relationship with a patient which IS A REQUIREMENT of being a GOOD doctor. The Doctors are supposed to herd you in, and herd you out as fast as possible. Instead of having a secretary type a report, they have to do it themselves on a computer instead of seeing patients . The Doctors have little control in what they do and they are getting out or finding a less controlling situation. The older Doctors are retiring ASAP.

    1. You are 100% correct- WAVES of solid, experienced older physicians are retiring ASAP. We can’t stand the factory assembly line. Total loss of control – except in fewer and fewer hospitals and private practices (usually in the South and midwest) where physicians have retained some autonomy in their private groups. Tiered medicine – boutique pay for care practices – are taking off for the wealthy patients who also fly first class. Venezuela here we come!

  15. Not exactly the shock of the century. The exodus began decades ago, when managed care / HMOs broke onto the scene. It’ll only get worse under the death grip of the ACA. We are doomed.

  16. Our system is set up to pay for administration instead of doctors. When being a doctor pays, they’ll be there. Cut the overhead and administration required. Cut the laws.

    1. Paul Roberts says:

      Doctors are also being replace by Nurse Practitioners. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap! but you Pay, Pay, Pay the same or more.

  17. It’s the incentives, stupid!

    1. Docs are smart people. They are problem solvers. They want to help people. They will move to other professions where they can accomplish those two desires without being crushed by government and insurance company bureaucrats. This has been coming for a long time. I retired from the pharma biz 11 years ago and docs knew what was coming back then.

  18. No mention of Obombercare’s failures and lies. How does these MSM liars stay in business???

  19. Sean Foley says:

    I’ve always been interested in medicine, but I have not been interested in the 12+ years to get into it. I can’t believe _any_ subject requires that much time to learn, and I’m sure many others believe the same way. At this point in my life, 12 years is too much and I just can’t give a damn.

  20. Dave Berry says:

    We don’t need no stink’en Doctors. With that miracle cure Marijuana going legal in all states in the near future, Doctors will be obsolete except maybe for a broken leg or gunshot.

  21. I’ve been informed by a couple of primary care doc’s that the insurers plan omn cutting ythem out altogether, makuing diagnoses from a central location via video conference

    1. go to my Webpage on Facebook ,search,, ,the cure for any cancer, ,its free, the cure itself is so easy you can do it yourself at home, and it works 100%, cost 2-3.00$..People are spending over 100.000$ for useless treatment, at the end they still DIE… plus many more information you never heard of. GOD created Human Beings 1+billion years ago out there in our Universe, learn how they live and travel, they are far, far ahead of us, why 1/3 of the Angels rebelled against GOD, no Man has seen GOD, I did, find out what happen, it is a must read, you will be glad you did

  22. I am a radiologist. If you want to be a doctor, do not go into primary care. The federal government is destroying the opportunity. Increasingly, lesser trained individuals are functioning as doctors, using pre-programmed computer algorithms for diagnosis and treatment, which work “most” of the time…unless your disease hasn’t read the algorithm. If a government sanctioned NP or PA messes up, well, that’s ok, because the focus is on population health now, not individual health.

    Since the GOP lied and didn’t repeal Obamacare, you will be a government employee as a doctor in 10 years, working a shift, with no say in what you do and you will be under the control of a bunch of ill-educated government bureaucrats.

  23. Jeffrey Gee says:

    Why would anyone want o be a doctor anymore when the government controls the insurance and how much you can potentially make in a socialist broken utopia!

  24. Reports of doctors leaving the profession in the wake of O’Muslimcare have been common for years. And, oh, by the way, your Rino Senate just insured you’re going to have to deal with another few years of this torment.

  25. Adam Edner says:

    But obamacare promised free treatment by doctors… I guess when you don’t pay them people don’t want to be doctors anymore. Thanks Obama.

  26. There are fifty State Licensure boards each with its own public employee ecosystem: each an independent fief. Each presuming to tell us that practicing medicines a “privilege and not a right”. They operate as a guild both protecting the existing State’s doctors from competition and as a constant threat to them as well.
    Someone should do a study on the catastrophic effect of an MD getting pulled over and arrested for DWI (at a checkpoint, and not for weaving or speeding). The forced “rehab”. The prolonged monitoring of random urine tests, the hypocrisy of testing for marijuana even in states in which doctors can proscribe marijuana. Once caught in this system one must either live as an ascetic or abandon the career that cost untold years of training and tuition and time in which others were already gainfully melted while we are doing 4 and 5 or 6 year post-grad years!
    F you all. Enjoy your observation of robotic interface between you, the “health care provider” and the ubiquitous computer. They speak of “holistic” care, but they divide you up into diagnosis and treatment codes.
    Ha ha ha! Enjoy, your new young HCP’s! Basically they are cowed by middle management women running medical education, taught techniques of communicating with patients rather than diagnosing and treating them.

  27. Kra Kos says:

    After 8 years of socialized medicine, the L!BTurds didn’t count on people migrating OUT of that failed career.

    This is yet another problem the kenyan left for President TRUMP to correct.

  28. Greg Wangler says:

    If… you… likeyourdoctor…
    you… can… keepyourdoctor.

  29. Mark Meyer says:

    And why you might ask? Because Obamacare is dissuading the most intelligent from going into the field. Another socialist experiment by the democrat party gone wrong. What a surprise.

  30. 90,000 short? It’s a lot lot higher! And a high number are incompetent as general practitioners. Right now we are going through Affirmative Action nurses being dumped on nursing homes and affirmative action minorities put in medical testing labs. They are incompetent beyond your belief. I hired an attorney to file a lawsuit against my mother’s nursing home because I kept catching the Somali Muslim nurse giving her incorrect medication and wrong doses. He was new. Took over for 20+ year experienced white nurses who made too much money for the non-profit nursing home organization to afford. The nursing home immediately settled. She now lives in my home with private nursing care coming in. They brought in Filipino nurses too. ObamaCare Death Care? It’s going on right now with Affirmative Action. You need to be a patient advocate for your parents, your children, your extended family.

  31. Look how well it works in Canada.

  32. Mike Donovan says:

    Notice the FAKE NEWS lead, A shortage of 90K doctors is POSSIBLE, however the article says 35K is POSSIBLE by 2025. More freaking scare tactics from the leftist that caused the problem.

    1. This has been coming for 20 years. Doctors do not make great money like they used to and it takes them years to pay off their loans. Do you wonder why many do not take Medicaid or Obama care? They can’t afford it. They get reimbursed so little and it takes so long that they can’t afford to keep a competent staff. Most have gone to PAs.

  33. The shortage is probably understated by 3 to 400 percent. They started with income standards then calculated the number of openings. As we wait longer and longer for shorter and shorter appointments we, the people, know that the number of doctors is not based on adequate care. It is based on money.

  34. Jimmy Chonga says:

    And instead us seeing the cause for this for what it is: Ocoma-care, the geniuses on the left will blame Trump, or maybe, Bush. Tards will be tards.

  35. We all saw this coming. Take away the ability to make a living and bright people will not go into medicine. This was predicted when ACA was shoved up our ass.

  36. Jeff Myers says:

    This is why single payer will not work in our country. Why go trough all the years of school to become a Dr. just t work for the government and basically be a civil servant.

    1. I am very much against socialized medicine…. (or the politically correct term you used: single payer system.) Having worked a lifetime in healthcare administration and in the trenches I can tell you that the quality of medicine practiced in America has steadily declined in direct relation to government intervention. Complete governmental control would be the death knell for the once Best Medical Care in history.

      1. Kw Greenwood says:

        Why be a doctor when you can be a lawyer and sue doctors for a big pay day. Politicians have been trying to control every aspect of everyone’s life for century’s. American politicians are no different. I don’t envy anyone trying to make a living in the medical field since the ACA became the law of the land. In fact for the last 50 years since the lawyers have been unleashed on the health care field.

  37. Chuck Blinn says:

    Simple fix: Bring in the Pakis, the Cubans, and the ones from Granada.

    1. Have you been in a hospital lately? They’ve already done that.
      It costs about $500,000 to become a doctor in America today, who can afford it?

  38. Neri Holzer says:

    The politicians at the urging of lobbyist created a new class of doctors -nurse practitioners and physician assistants- who are paid 90% of MD fees, and in many areas work independently. These pseudo doctors have more than filled in the slot of family doctors-and dont spend the money and time it takes to be fully trained as a primary care physician. So when they talk about shortage of doctors they dont take into account these providers. Why would any doctor spend the kind of time and money it takes to become a Primary Care providers where non MD’s are paid almost the same.

  39. Thank the AMA. See “How Government Solved the Health Care Crisis”, by Roderick T. Long.

  40. Rick Boc says:

    Obamacare,at its finest

  41. Brus Al says:

    On the other hand there seems to be an over abundance of dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the last 20 years. Go figure!

    1. Because they get paid by the patient

  42. Gee Wally, I wonder why the clowns CBS New York didn’t offer any insight on why this might be happening?

  43. Gee, a doctor shortage. I seem to remember this is EXACTLY what everyone said would happen when they passed obamacare and all those doctors swore to retire before dealing with the feds in control of healthcare

  44. Stan Olson says:

    I think this is what happens with “free” health care.

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