A Looming Shortage, or the Wrong Doctors in the Wrong Places?

From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:

If current trends continue, we may indeed be facing a shortage of primary care physicians, David Goodman, one of the Dartmouth authors, told the Health Blog. But the solution is not expanding medical schools and residencies, but changing incentives to encourage more medical students to go into primary care — namely by narrowing the income gap between primary care and medical specialties. That’s something we’ve been hearing a lot of lately.

What’s more, Goodman’s article pointed out, the physician supply per capita grew significantly between 1979 and 1999 — but 80% of the new docs settled in areas where physician supply was already high. So any plan to add more docs ought to pay close attention to where they’ll wind up.