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New physician population likely to be more diverse

The last two years of pandemic difficulties plus an aging physician workforce will likely result in an exodus from the field and a shortage of doctors.
Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president of the American Medical Association, says, “Across the United States, physicians from all backgrounds have spent the past two years battling COVID-19, serving their communities, and leveraging technologies, new and old, from telehealth to house calls, to treat and manage patients who might be apprehensive about visiting a physician’s office. But even as we transition to what is hopefully an endemic stage of COVID-19 and our country, hopefully, returns to something close to pre-pandemic living, we must grapple with data showing one in five doctors said they plan to leave the profession in the next two years. With an already aging physician workforce, if even a fraction of those doctors follow through with their plans, the impact on our health system would be devastating.

“To address this workforce challenge, the AMA is dedicated to growing not just the size of our physician community, but its diversity. Almost one in three people in the U.S. come from historically marginalized communities, but fewer than one in eight are physicians. This has to change. Additionally, International Medical Graduates (IMGs)—some of whom are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents—have long played a critical role providing health care services, particularly in rural and under-resourced communities.  The nation and its health care system owe them a significant debt of gratitude for their many contributions.

“The AMA is committed to achieving improvements in the training, practice, and professional inclusion of all physicians irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, and sexual orientation—as well as to recognizing and denouncing discrimination or racism in the profession. As the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care, the AMA is dedicated to advancing equity and justice as we work to achieve optimal health for all.”










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