How will this impact you? "Average wait times for medical specialties are likely to increase dramatically beyond the current range of two to five weeks."
This shortage is a growing concern, especially due to our rapidly aging population who may be in more need of health care in the coming years. The report also cites more regulations and more paperwork as factors for the physician shortage. With harder work ahead and dwindling reimbursements, it is becoming more difficult to persuade young people to choose the health care field.
If you find yourself having to wait longer for regular checkups or to have your pain examined, consider an alternative: chiropractic. Chiropractors in Illinois have the training, education, experience, and license to adequately diagnose your condition and to refer you for the proper testing or specialist, if necessary.
Illinois (2010) - “One-half of Graduating Illinois Residents and Fellows are Leaving”
A 2010 Illinois Physician Workforce report by Northwestern University’s Fienberg School of Medicine, the Illinois Hospital Association, and Illinois State Medical Society describes Illinois as “in danger of being unable to meet even the most pressing healthcare needs.” The report describes the many causes of the Illinois physician shortage with one reason being that one-half of residents and fellows who graduate end up leaving the state to practice. The reason for the low retention rate is that Illinois has a reputation for not being physician friendly due to its medical liability procedures and high malpractice insurance rates. Aside from the flight of Illinois graduates, the rural areas of the state are suffering from a lack of physicians and only 1.5% of residents indicated that they planned to practice in a rural setting. In 2010, the Illinois assembly passed legislation to create an Illinois Workforce Institute to collect, analyze, and distribution information of the state’s physician workforce.
Indiana (2007) – “Projections Indicate that Shortages Will Continue to Worsen”
In a brief written by the University Of Indiana School Of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine severe shortages of several health professions, especially primary care physicians, have been documented. Currently the state is lacking at least 5,000 physicians, out of which 1,000 need to be primary care physicians, to appropriately care for the population. This number will grow by 2020 to 2,000 additional primary care physicians. Furthermore, a mere 19% of urban counties and only 2% of rural counties in Indiana are at the target for population to physician ratios when considering the number of primary care physicians. These already severe shortages are going to become even more prevalent when considering that the number of Indiana residents over age 65 will double between 2000 and 2030, the segment of the population that uses health care services the most.
Wisconsin (2011) – “100 New Physicians a Year: An Imperative for Wisconsin”
In a 2011 report, the Wisconsin Hospital Association estimates that 100 additional physicians per year will need to enter the workforce to keep pace with increasing demand. If these demands are not met, the projected shortage by the year 2030 will be over 2,000 physicians, which equates to 20 percent of the current Wisconsin physician workforce. The report predicts primary care physicians will be most in demand, with general surgeons and psychiatrists in short supply as well. If 100 additional physicians are not added each year, the state’s economy will be as much as $5 billion smaller than it could be. The report outlines various strategies for reaching the goal and gives time and cost estimates for each strategy; these strategies include expanding Wisconsin GME programs, expanding the number of medical school graduates, and focusing on tuition and tuition-related debt as incentives to attract and retain Wisconsin physicians.
Missouri (2009) – “Recruitment and Retention of Health Care Providers Very Difficult”
A 2009 study by the Health Management Associates, Inc. and funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City, suggests that Missouri has a shortage of healthcare professionals based on the ratio of the population to the availability of healthcare services. Missouri is experiencing the most acute shortage of physicians in rural areas shown by the fact that 40% of the population resides in rural areas but only 25% of the state’s physicians practice there. The access to healthcare in rural areas is compounded by the fact that the rural population is generally older, requiring more services and includes a rapidly growing Hispanic population which raises cultural and language challenges.
Iowa (2007) – “Aging Population will Alter Demand for Physician Services”
After reviewing physician supply and demand data, a task force established by University of Iowa Health Care leaders developed a set of recommendations for improving the physician supply that focused on modest increases in physician education and training capacity as well as a detailed set of recruitment and retention strategies. The five specialties perceived to be in greatest need were psychiatry, neurosurgery, general internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, and cardiology.
In general, chiropractors do not have excessive wait times. For example, because Johnson Family Chiropractic sets aside specific times each day for new patients, a new patient at Johnson Family Chiropractic can usually be seen within one to three business days of contacting our office.
If you find yourself dealing with longer and longer wait times due to the physician shortage, ask us if we can help. If chiropractic care is not right for you, we'll let you know and refer you to the proper specialist. And if you needed chiropractic care all along, then you'll be in the right place.