health care

Primary Care Physician Shortage Poised To Worsen

Growing demand, but inadequate compensation

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When medical students visit Dr. Garry Pearson's practice at the Jefferson City Medical Clinic, the family practitioner always asks what they're going to be when they grow up.

"Not what you do. I can tell you that," the students always tell him.

But a team of researchers recently published an article that identifies the United States will need nearly 52,000 additional primary care physicians, like Pearson, by 2025.

Most of the need will come from population growth, but some will come from an aging population and from more people being insured by the Affordable Care Act, according to the article, "Projecting U.S. Primary Care Physician Workforce Needs: 2010-2025."