T. Ruth Chang, MD, speaks on how the industry can address the projected physician shortage


Research from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a national shortage of 37,800 to 124,000 physicians within the next dozen years. Among the various factors AAMC researchers accounted for, the pandemic is likely responsible for the departure of more than 3,000 doctors in the direct care workforce.

AMA News spoke with several physician experts, including T. Ruth Chang, MD, MPH, chief people officer and vice president at Northwest Permanente, about how organizations can address the projected shortage.

Dr. Chang highlighted graduate and undergraduate medical education as a strategic investment in addressing the anticipated physician shortage. “While it’s imperative that we continue to work on reducing burnout and returning joy to medicine as a means to extend careers, retaining the workforce we have is not enough,” she said.

The investment in medical education is two-fold: “Teaching brings joy and purpose to the preceptors, and learners are our future colleagues,” Dr. Chang said. One in 4 Northwest Permanente clinicians has trained within the organization at some point in their medical education.

Read the full AMA News article here.