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Physician shortage to take center stage in Washington, D.C.


AMA president to make presentation at National Press Club next week.

exhausted overworked physician on gurney burnout: © aleutie - stock.adobe.com

© aleutie - stock.adobe.com

The American Medical Association (AMA) hopes to draw new attention to the looming national shortage of physicians.

The need for more doctors will be the message AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, delivers to the National Press Club on Oct. 25. Ehrenfeld “will outline critical strains on physicians, including enormous administrative burdens, burnout, anti-science aggression, increased consolidation across health care, a broken Medicare payment system, and health crises that worsen each day,” according to an AMA announcement previewing the presentation.

AMA has offered potential solutions that Ehrenfeld will discuss, including the Association’s Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians. Its planks include fixing prior authorizations, reforming Medicare payment, fighting scope creep, supporting telehealth, and reducing physician burnout.

Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH 
American Medical Association

Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH
American Medical Association

The event will take place Washington, D.C., and livestreamed online.

AMA’s announcement about Ehrenfeld’s address was published about the same time a new report detailed again how the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the physician workforce, especially in primary care.

“Addressing the healthcare staffing shortage,” by health care commercial intelligence company Definitive Healthcare, estimated 8,718 internal medicine physicians and 7,842 family practice physicians left the workforce in 2021 and 2022. They were among an estimated 71,309 doctors who left health care due to various effects of COVID-19.

That tally does not include nurses, physical therapists, physician assistants, or licensed clinical social workers; all told, Definitive Healthcare estimated 145,213 various clinicians and providers called it quits due to the pandemic.

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