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Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership address expected doctor shortage

Woman in doctor's office.

The Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership is addressing a critical shortage of doctors expected in the next decade.

The US could be short over 100,000 doctors by 2034, says a study from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Driving this is an expectation that the population will increase 10% and be older, leading to a rise in demand for physicians. Combined with that is a medical workforce nearing retirement age. More than 2 of every 5 active physicians will be 65 or older within the next ten years.

In anticipation of the expected doctor shortage, the Medical Partnership is addressing this challenge. The incoming class in 2022 was the largest ever for the Medical Partnership. The majority of graduates from 2014 to 2018 have stayed in the Southeast US and just under half are practicing in Georgia.

The study also estimates an additional 180,000 physicians would be needed now if marginalized minority populations, people in rural communities and people without health insurance had the same healthcare patterns as people with fewer barriers to healthcare.

Students at the Medical Partnership work in the community with the Athens Free Clinic which in partnership with the Georgia Northeast Department of Health provided COVID-19 testing to vulnerable populations and administered close to 4,000 COVID-19 vaccines.