Ophthalmology Business

MAR 2014

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

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How the dwindling number of doctors will affect eyecare Y ou've no doubt heard the numbers about a projected pri- mary care physician (PCP) shortage—and the increasing need for their services. Because of both an aging population and a general population growth, a 2012 report from the Annals of Family Medicine predicts the total number of office visits to PCPs will increase from 462 million in 2008 to 565 million in 2025. 1 24 Ophthalmology Business • Ma rch 201 4 by Vanessa Caceres Contributing Writer Physician shortages T he same study said the United States will need almost 52,000 additional PCPs by the year 2025. "Population growth will be the largest driver, accounting for around 33,000 additional physicians, while 10,000 additional physicians will be needed to accommodate population aging," the study investigators reported. Insurance expansion will add another 8,000 physicians to the increase. An editorial from Association of American Medical Colleges president Darrell G. Kirch, MD, published on the association's website in December 2013, estimates that the United States will need a total of 9 1,500 new doctors by 2020 and 130,600 by 2025. "Contrary to what many believe, the coming shortage is divided nearly evenly between the need for more primary care physi- cians and the need for surgeons, oncologists, cardiologists, and other specialties," he wrote. 2 There's a graying of physicians as well. One third of practicing physicians is 55 or older, and many are projected to retire in 10 or 15 years. A survey from Deloitte Center for Health Solutions shows that more than half of the physicians will retire earlier than originally planned. 3 20-28_OB March 2104-DL_Layout 1 2/19/14 11:09 AM Page 24

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