The nation is projected to face a shortage of as many as 94,700 physicians by the year 2025, according to the most recent analysis by the Association of American Medical Colleges, which represents 145 American medical schools and 400 teaching hospitals and health systems.
And in 2014, providing the same amount of medical care to underserved areas would have required as many as 96,200 more physicians, according to the AAMC.
The shortage is especially dire in parts of the South, with its many rural areas and minority communities. And in some states, tight budgets and projected deficits have exacerbated the problem.
In Louisiana, for example, the state’s ongoing budget troubles are endangering the future of medical training programs, lawmakers were told earlier this year. Proposed cuts to hospitals could stem the stream of residents for a generation, in a state that has a shortage of health care workers and the unhealthiest population in the nation.
Other states’ doctor-training programs are cherry-picking some of Louisiana's top talent, The Associated Press reported last month.