The United States is undergoing a shortage in primary care doctors.
According to a new study by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, less than 25 percent of new doctors graduating from medical school are going into the primary care field.
“We have a bigger systemic problem in that we need to amplify how attractive it is to be a physician overall... a lot of that is financial,” President of the Texas Medical Association, Dr. Steve Brotherton, M.D., said.
While the U.S. is undergoing a primary care shortage, rural areas are especially being affected. In Texas, it’s slightly different numbers, Dr. Brotherton said.
“[In Texas] we're right now better than we were three or four months ago,” he continued. “But we're still behind where we need to be.”
Being a primary care doctor needs to be more appealing in some way, Dr. Brotherton said.
“We need loan repayment programs, kids are coming out of medical schools with quite a bit of debt,” he said. “If you can offer them a chance to repay that debt in return for service functioning primary care service or in rural areas or even both... that would help boost numbers.”