Will you be able to find a doctor in 2014?


If 32 million people get health insurance in 2014 under health reform, will you still be able to find a doctor when you need one? That's a question a lot of people are asking, and no one truly knows the answer.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a shortage of 55,300 doctors in 2014 and estimates that could grow to 159,300 by 2025. The reason for the dramatic increase by 2025 is not just health reform but also the fact that many baby boomer doctors are nearing retirement. Another big problem is that doctors are choosing specialties that pay more than primary care, so even fewer will be running primary care practices.

To try to reverse that shortfall, the AAMC's Center for Workforce Studies has recommended that "medical schools increase enrollment by 30% by 2015," says Clese Erikson, director of workforce research. She adds medical schools are currently on "track to reach a 30% increase by 2018."

Originally published