Florida could see an alarming doctor shortage by 2035

Doctor-Patient Discussing — Courtesy: Shutterstock — S_L

The coronavirus pandemic has caused supply chain issues and shortages, and the medical field is no exception. 

Even though Florida’s coast population continues to grow, the Florida Hospital Association reports a significant shortage of primary care physicians by 2035. The growing population paired with retirement projections show that the Sunshine State is in desperate need of more physicians.

“We’ve got a rapidly growing population but the demographic segments that are growing the fastest are over 65, so over the next 14-15 years those are people that need the physician services the most,” said Justin Senior, CEO of Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida.

A new study has revealed key insights into what the future of this doctor shortage might look like.

According to the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida and the Florida Hospital Association, the state will be short nearly 18,000 physicians by 2035.

University of West Florida School of Nursing Director Crystal Bennett stated that they are extremely concerned about the shortages.

The report says this shortage would mean patient access to specialty and primary physicians would only meet the needs of three-fourths of the state’s total population.

Planned retirements and a growing population are factors in the expected shortage. Bennett says that there is another issue looming within the medical field, burnouts.

“As nurses, physicians are part of our healthcare team,” Bennett said. “So we need them. We need them to help care for the patient. They are giving us our physician orders and our instructions for how best to care for these patients.”

Officials with Ascension Sacred Heart say they are not dealing with a doctor shortage in the Panhandle area.

In addition, they have brought up the need for more physicians planning to create a family residency program in Walton County.

“We hope that we can be supportive and provide them with excellent graduates to help offset this upcoming shortage and its impact,” Bennett said.

Bennett added that they are doing all they can to remain proactive. 

“My focus is how can we up our enrollment to generate more graduates to help meet the demands we’re going to see in our community, the state, and across the nation.”

Stories that matter are our priority. At Florida Insider, we make sure that the information we provide our readers is accurate, easy-to-read, and informative. Whether you are interested in business, education, government, history, sports, real estate, nature or travel: we have something for everyone. Follow along for the best stories in the Sunshine State.