The coming manpower shortage in medicine

By John C. Nordt III, MD

Manpower shortages in medicine are anticipated in the next 10 or 15 years because fewer qualified people are entering the field. In Florida, where I practice, 801 graduates finish medical school annually; more than half of them leave the state for postgraduate training and never return. Our two university orthopaedic residency programs produce 11 residents a year. The past 2 years, all these graduates have left the state. Why? Perhaps because they can’t afford to practice medicine here.

At the end of postgraduate training, medical students are in debt for more than $200,000. The average cost of a house in the South Florida area exceeds $1 million. Tuition for private schools is approximately $20,000 a child. The cost of living in South Florida is incredibly high.

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