As media coverage of the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act subsides, one residual conversation is heating up: Are there enough doctors in the US to meet the advancing needs of the US population?
A recent article in the Money and Policy Section of the New York Times reports that even with monies set aside in the new law to train primary care physicians, increases in Medicaid’s primary care payment rates in 2013 and 2014, and rewards for physicians who work in underserved communities and community health centers, the expected increase in PCPs of 3000-5000 will fall desperately short of the expected need for just around 45,000 new doctors.
And even this number may be far below the actual deficit. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the number could hit closer to 90,000 even as soon as 2020. The full impact of the shortage is nearly immeasurable and the need for well-trained, licensed US doctors is clear. For certain also is the need for action beyond this conversation. And as medical school costs continue to rise, quality, affordable medical school choices must quickly be identified and made available to those who might answer the call to join the next generation of physicians.
Fortunately options exist for those seriously committed to becoming doctors. As Warren Ross, President of the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts (UMHS, St. Kitts) says:
“Our vision is to maintain a boutique medical school for students who deserve and demand a quality education in a small school environment at an affordable tuition. Our goal is to help our students grow as scientists and clinicians, but most importantly, as human beings who are able to integrate the science and the art of being a physician.”
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Built in the tradition of the best US universities, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences focuses on individualized student attention, small class sizes and recruiting high quality faculty. For these reasons, UMHS is quickly becoming the school of choice among Caribbean medical schools.