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AMA to New York Times: A Shortage of Doctors

June 30, 2011(published)

New York Times
Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

"Administration Halts Survey of Arranging Doctor Visits" (news article, June 29) outlines what we already know to be true: the United States faces a shortage of physicians to meet the needs of a growing and aging population.

The physician shortage is well documented: 22 specialty groups and 33 states report or project physician shortages. We know that the physician shortage in this country will only grow worse as more people enter Medicare and coverage is expanded to those currently uninsured, and we should start taking steps to reverse this shortage.

As millions of uninsured Americans obtain health insurance and will soon be able to gain access to continuing health care, it is critical for our nation to have a strong and viable physician work force to ensure patient access to care.

Cecil B. Wilson, MD
President, American Medical Association