Research points to severe doctor shortage in next decade

SEATTLE — New research shows mounting evidence that there will be a severe shortage of doctors in the United States in the next decade.

Medical industry experts are now sounding the alarm.

The research indicates there could be a shortage of 40,000 to 105,000 doctors within the next ten years -- from family doctors to specialists to surgeons.

The research from the Association of American Medical Colleges said the shortage is not from a drop in the number of doctors or people going into the profession, but more about an increase in demand.

By 2030, the number of Americans 65 and older will grow by 55 percent, and those patients need two to three times as many medical services.

The number of new primary care physicians and specialists aren't keeping pace with the demands of the growing and aging population.

To combat the problem, researchers from the American Medical Colleges are calling on medical schools to expand their class sizes, urging the industry to make better use of technology, and asking lawmakers for federal support to add 3,000 new residency positions per year over the next five years.

They say something needs to be done or there could be a dangerous health care crisis.