In 2008, the American College of Physicians published a white paper on the impact of primary care physicians on the quality and cost of medical care and succinctly concluded the following:
Absent changes in policies to make primary care more attractive and rewarding to new physicians and to sustain those already in practice, the supply of primary care physicians (PCPs) will fall behind increased patient demand, resulting in a shortfall of tens of thousands of primary care physicians over the next decade.
The availability of primary care is positively and consistently associated with improved outcomes, reduced mortality, lower utilization of healthcare resources, and lower overall costs of care.
Consequently, a shortage of primary care physicians will result in poorer health outcomes and more premature and preventable deaths for millions of Americans, and overall higher costs of care.1
In its study, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, the Institute of Medicine noted, “Health care-related careers, including medical assistants, physician assistants, physical therapists, mental health counselors, pharmacy technicians, and ...