Physician shortage hits Dayton

Dayton Business Journal – by Mary Beth Lehman

Dayton-area experts are worried a shrinking number of primary care physicians in the area could leave residents without proper medical care.Dayton is being affected by a national shortage of primary care physicians in family and internal medicine leading to declining health outcomes and higher costs as fewer physicians are asked to do more with less.

The number of graduating medical school students entering primary care and internal medicine across the country has dropped by 50 percent between 1997 and 2005, while the number of patients needing care continued to rise because of the aging population, according to a recent report from the American College of Physicians.

As a result, the United States is expected to experience a shortage of 35,000 to 44,000 adult primary care physicians by 2025. The report concluded that a lack of access to primary care physicians leads to worse health outcomes and higher costs for everyone. One statistic included in the report showed an increase of one primary care physician resulted in 1.44 fewer premature deaths per 10,000 people.

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