Experts predict a shortage of physicians within the next decade

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WINNSBORO, La. (09/18/19)– Population growth, an increase in the number of aging Americans, and retirement of practicing doctors these are the leading reasons the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts the United States will see a major decrease in physicians within the next decade.

“It’s critical that we have un influx of doctors, and not just doctors in general, but new doctors,” Kevin Wiater, Director of Franklin Medical Center said. “There are many doctors that are reaching the retirement age, so as those fade out we need an influx of new doctors to replace those doctors.”

A third of our doctors in the ARKLAMISS are nearing retirement, with the average age being 55. That’s why Franklin Medical Center is taking action now through scholarship programs for graduate students.

“To either sponser them to go back to medical school or post graduate degrees and then have a contract to work at the hospital for a set amount of time,” Wiater said.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is also working on an expansion to bring a whole new generation of caregivers. Wiater said this will not only benefit Monroe, but also the rural areas surrounding the city.

“These schools often they are accepting 50 to 100 if not more students, if we can retain about 5-10 percent of that each year that’s around 7-15 doctors each year in this area opening up their own practices, joining other practices,” Wiater said.

ULM’s new medical school will begin training future doctors by 2021.

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