Primary Care Physicians and Surgeons In The United States

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Primary Care Physicians and Surgeons In The United States

Chapter 1:


Today in the United States, there is an increasingly critical shortage when it comes to primary care physicians and surgeons. Because of this shortage, the Senate in the country is trying coming up with relevant measures through which they can address this major problem through ensuring there is an increase in the number residential training institutions and positions in the country (Markle, 2007). Primary care physicians, PCP, are medical doctors or physicians who provide the effective very first medical attention for any individual who have health concerns that have not yet been diagnosed. He or she will continue giving the necessary medical attention, which should not be limited by organ systems, diagnosis or the cause. All known physicians must have successfully completed a course from a medical school. In order for one to become primary care physician, he should have graduated from a medical school and then get postgraduate degree from some of the primary health care programs (Randolph, 2007). This will make them experts in their fields of specialization.

With increasing difficulties in life due to the changed living standards, it will be very necessary that a country like the United States have the appropriate number of physicians so that the entire population can be in a position of acquiring the necessary care whenever the need arises. There are very many reasons that provide enough evidences that can make our government be in a position of addressing the issue. One, very many people today are being absorbed by the growing industrialization, meaning that there will be exposed to more occupational hazards that ever before. These calls for proper medical attention so that care can be quickly provided incase of any injury at the workplace. Second, the globe has become insecure for human survival as more and more substances continue to be emitted causing environmental degradation and overall change in lifestyles.

The above has increased the chances of damages and hence the need for medical attention. As a number of studies have indicated, majority of the countries today are being faced by a decline in the number of primary care physicians (Markle, 2007). This means that the people are no longer getting the proper medical attention they ought to be getting hence calling for a wake up call to address the issue. The following is a discussion regarding the shortage of physicians to offer primary care in US. This will compare various viewpoints on the issue as well as giving the necessary implications to the supervisors and managers.


Today, all parts of the world have reported increasing shortages for health care physicians, and especially with the primary care physicians. These shortages are due to a number of factors like economic instabilities, lack of proper teaching facilities and programs, poor education systems and lack of proper governance (Markle, 2007). These issues will ensure that there are no proper measures of addressing the problem, and hence this has caused a number of problems with the health systems. However, different nations will have these shortages caused by varied reasons. The current shortages in the number of the primary care physicians have caused a very big problem for a country like United States, which is a developed nation. In the country, for instance, in United States, the average number of the medical students who go into family training practices has dropped by around 52 percent from 1997 and 2006 (Murray, 2002). By 1998, over half of the internal medical and health residents had opted being in primary care practice. However, in 2006, over 83 percent of these caregivers opted to become specialists in the field. The latest surveys carried out since then has indicated that, by the year 2020, the country will be facing a shortage of about 40,000 care physicians.

There are a number of various changes in US that are caused by shocking expectations. These changes have caused a great harm to the overall availability of primary care physicians in the country (Randolph, 2007). These changes have changed the way the services are being delivered to the clients, the aging of the country’s population, increased infections such as cancer and brain tumors, and the increased changes in the living styles of majority of the people. Majority of the people, however, are not being given medical cover. In the year 2004, the average income of majority of the US specialists was the double of the primary care physicians, and this gap is widening year in year out. Due to this disparity, the practicing primary care physicians have become discontented hence as well discouraging all the young trainees so that they do not venture into the medical field. This has led to the results that only 2 percent of the people entering into colleges would be willing to enter into this career. Because of this fact, the physicians giving primary care in the country obtained from foreign countries (Markle, 2007).

Despite the current unemployment rate being still held high at 10 percent, employment continued to rise in health care. This signals that health care professionals are in high demand. Currently, a national shortage of doctors has created a big burden for everyone. Because of this fact, the United State as a nation is today struggling to find ways to fill in the gap of primary care physicians. As millions of previously uninsured people would gain coverage, the new demand for primary care physicians surpass the supply. From the previous studies already done on the same, there are indications that the country is projected to have a very big shortage of over 200,000 medical caregivers (Randolph, 2007). There will be very many reasons for the great shortages in the total number of physicians, and among these reasons will include educational loans, salary gaps in the country, and the continued increased working hours in the country. As this great problem of lessening physicians, it would be very necessary that the government come up with better ways through which we can find a permanent solution to the problem (Murray, 2002).

Why study?

It will be agreed that this is a very important issue, which have to be addressed with a matter of urgency if we were to have proper healthcare attention in not only the United States but any other country in the world. As the future is more important for all nations, it is quite necessary that all the problems are addressed from the agricultural and health care sectors which provide the greatest support for human existence (Markle, 2007). This clearly explains the need of addressing the shortage of the physicians. If a problem is identified, the best way through which that particular problem will successfully be solved is through coming up with appropriate strategies in identifying the necessary causes of the problem, then look for ways through which the problems will be addressed. Once these problems have been identified and solved, the outcome will be improved health care to the people of that particular nation.

From this research study, it is quite appropriate that it comes up with a way through which the causes of these shortages will be identified. This will lead us to the most important step that finds solutions to the problem at hand. As over the past few years, hospitals and some other health care systems are noted to have some difficulties here and there whenever it comes to the recruitment and retaining of staff. This has resulted in a slow-down in terms of productivity hence causing the patients to wait for longer time before getting any medical attention from their doctors (Markle, 2007).

Over the last two or more years, sometimes the patients tend to be forced to book for appointments with their own doctors who cannot be for less than eight days (Markle, 2007). This means the number of patients attended by a single physician has been on the rise. This means that the medical expert may as well not be in a position of providing the best medical care to the patients as he should. Therefore, this study should be able to fix this problem as it presents itself. This is because there will be an execution for an analysis that will emphasize on how more physicians can be recruited for the practice in the United States.

In addition, the other important area, which can be focused on, is in the education system. With the education system, it can be possible to achieve a balance by ensuring that we have a considerable number of students admitted for the medical practice so that they become physicians in the very end (Randolph, 2007). This is something that should be encouraged by ensuring that the existing disparity in the payments given to the specialists and primary care physicians is not that big. This will ensure that many youths will be willing to join these medical schools. Once this is achieved, the eventual outcome is that there will be increased people willing to join the profession and provide health care services to the population.

Once the study has effectively been executed, the information that obtained or outsourced will be of great importance to the supervisors as well as the managers in the medical practice, whether in public or private practice (Randolph, 2007). Once the underlying facts have been outlined, it will be necessary that the managers and supervisors are given the real problems faced so that they can take some time to think over them. The study will lead to the required recommendations for the entire medical fields in addressing the shortage of the physicians. Everyone should realize the important role played by health care profession in the society.

It should be realised by everyone that health care profession is one of the important careers that has a very important role in the modern society. Although a number of hospitals in the country today show an improvement in their health care delivery systems over the past few years, it will be realised that the country is still encountering some problems related to labor shortages posed by the lessening number of primary care physicians (Gilford & Nelson, 2008). It would be wrong for anyone to assume that professionals in healthcare are not dedicated in their work. With the study, it will be possible to address all these issues and have proper analysis of the underlying obstacles that are a root cause to the increased problems faced in the American health sector.

In conclusion, it is right to agree that the study will be important for the supervisors and managers since it will help them realize this grand problem related to the shortage in the number of primary care physicians. It will also be possible to figure out some good strategic plans and decision making processes through which more staff can be recruited, encouraging students to take medical careers and improving measures through which nurses and other physicians who are on the retirement plan can be retained (Gilford & Nelson, 2008). Therefore, it will be agreed that the managers and supervisors should know about this issue so far so as to weigh its impact and by so doing realise that it is a major problem that has to be addressed within the shortest time possible. Once this is carefully addressed, it will be possible to come up with ways of implementing the stated solutions so that the country can address this issue by having an increased number of the primary care physicians.

Summary and Conclusion

It is now clear that the shortage in physicians to offer primary care in US is real and critical. In summary, all parts of the world have gave reports of increasing shortages for health care physicians, and especially with the primary care physicians. These shortages have resulted from a number of factors like economic instabilities, lack of proper teaching facilities and programs, poor education systems and lack of proper governance. After the study, recommendations for the entire medical organizations will follow in order to find a lasting solution to the current problem. The overall outcome will be improved healthcare giving in the country and the neighboring nations as well. For the sake of this study, my research boundary will only focus on the United States’ physician shortage statistics and available factual data that support the turnover rate of physicians and the fundamental of effective recruitment and retention methods. However, the main important reason why this study can be quite beneficial beyond its expectations is that the issue of primary care physician shortage is something that is facing the health care industry in all parts of the world (Randolph, 2007). The solutions to this problem of shortage of physicians that will be arrived at through the study will eventually benefit the entire nations in the world.

If we have to have full practice with the medical practice in our country and any other part of the world, it would be necessary that we come up with ways through which we can ensure that we have more primary care physicians who will be providing the country will the necessary care. The major ways through which this will be achieved is with retention mechanisms in which the aged practitioners are allowed to remain in the practice. As well, the education systems should be conveniently addressed so that more and more people may be enrolled for the practice and be trained (Gilford & Nelson, 2008). Once this is done, it will be necessary to come up with ways through which legislations will be made to ensure the practitioners are given good salary packages, allowances, and better working conditions. These strategies will result in better health care provision from the primary health care physicians.


Gilford, D. & Nelson, G. (2008). Rural America in passage: statistics for policy, Strategic Management Journal, 22(38), 84.

Markle, W. (2007). Understanding Global Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Murray, G. (2002). Critical care medicine: perio-perative management. Academy of Management Review, 34(45), 67-78.

Randolph, L. (2007). Primary care in a specialized world. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.