The U.S. will face a physician shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by 2033; by then more than two of five currently active physicians will be 65 or older. The rising patient population is competing to see a shrinking pool of doctors. Already, many rheumatology practices report at least a six-month wait for new patients with rheumatic disease, including arthritis, the leading cause of disability in the US.
91 million Americans are estimated to be living with rheumatic disease, and we have fewer than 5,600 active board-certified rheumatologists to treat them. By 2030, the demand is projected to exceed the number of available rheumatologists by over 4,700 as the prevalence of rheumatic disease grows.
Let Congress know the importance of passing the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (H.R 2389.S.1302). To increase the number of Medicare-supported direct graduate medical education (DGME) and indirect medical education (IME) medical resident training positions by 14,000 over seven years.