Careers in primary healthcare in high demand

Health Care Demand Image

The network of public health professionals, which includes biologists, insurance providers, pharmacists and hospital directors, works as an interdisciplinary team toward managing illness and preserving health. While some enter this field after years of study and exploration, others realize the satisfaction of pursuing careers in public health from a young age.

As fewer medical school students opt to enter the lower-paying fields like family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics, some health reports estimate the shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S. may reach 44,000 by 2025, the Star Tribute reports.

Health officials have begun to lobby for a provision in Congress' healthcare reform bill that would forgive the student loans of doctors who choose to practice primary care.

The financial burden drives very responsible people to make decisions that may not be in our state and country's best interest, said Dr Patricia Simmons, a professor at the Mayo Clinic.

According to the Council on Graduate Medical Education, primary care doctors comprise 35 percent of the physician workforce, and shortages in some regions have already emerged. To compound the problem, only 20 percent of medical school graduates are entering the understaffed field.

According to estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of physicians will have grown about 14 percent between 2006 and 2016.

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