Over the past decade, physician shortages have worsened, patients’ frustrations have increased, and the profession has molded itself around these new realities. Some forecasters project that the shortages will further deepen, and many organizations and individuals are urging that residency training programs be expanded. But others argue that additional physicians would simply work in places where there are enough already, that additional physicians would induce the demand for unneeded care, that fewer physicians would be necessary if more were primary care physicians, and that any gaps in service could be filled by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Although desired by many, the expansion of residencies faces a wall of opposition.
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