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Study: US has healthy surplus of physicians

A study published in JAMA is questioning the validity of American College of Surgeons' and Association of American Medical Colleges' reports stating the nation will face a shortage between 40,800 to 104,900 physicians by 2030, Healthcare Finance reports.

Here are five points:

1. The study said if each of the 388,000 full-time U.S. primary care physicians treated 1,500 patients, on average, PCPs could care for 583 million Americans. The U.S. adult population is 240 million.

2. Based on these figures, the industry would only need nearly 160,000 physicians to care for the 240 million Americans, based on a physician panel size of 1,500 patients.

3. If the panel size jumped to 2,000 patients, the industry would only need 120,000 full-time PCPs.

4. Medical enrollment figures have jumped the last 15 years. Since 2002, enrollment has rallied 28 percent.

5. The study authors argue there is no physician shortage, but rather there is a surplus of physicians.

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