What is an Assistant Physician / Associate Physician?
An assistant physician (in some states called an associate physician) is a new breed of provider. These highly educated doctors were specifically made to tackle the tasks of primary care in medically under served areas and work with a collaborating physician. They have completed medical school, are nationally ECFMG/ACGME Certified, and are a great asset to any hospital, clinic, or urgent care facility.
Healing the Doctor Shortage
Assistant physicians and associate physicians are part of a new profession that is aiming to alleviate the medical deficits of this country. This is especially true for rural areas without doctors. The Association of American Medical Colleges has projected that by 2025 there will be a shortfall of between 46,000 and 90,000 doctors. At the same time, however, the U.S. matching system turns away tens of thousands of applicants each year due to massive overcrowding. Residency programs are sputtering to deal with the booming population problems of the future and assistant physicians are here to help.
"By 2025, the study estimates a shortfall of between 14,900 and 35,600 primary care physicians."
-Association of American Medical Colleges
The hidden problem
Everyone is talking about the healthcare crisis, but there is a more deep seeded and insidious threat. We are running out of doctors. Every clinic, hospital, operating room, ER, pediatric unit, and practically every medical facility in America requires a doctor. Doctors are the hinge pin of the entire American medical system.
Map Showing Areas of America Considered Medically Undeserved
The more green the higher the doctor deficit. Notice that the rural areas of American (especially American South, Missouri, New Mexico, and Washington State) are the most affected.
The Residency Bottle Neck
Why don't we increase medicals schools? Medical schools are doing their best to provide applicants however they are not the problem. There is an overflow of doctors going into medical school. So much so that students are flowing in to the Caribbean just to get the chance to travel back into the U.S.
Due to under-funding and financial restraints of programs there are not enough residency positions after doctors have been through medical school and are certified by the United States to start their PGY1. This problem has been Steadily getting worse since the 1980's.
It is worth noting that the gap between the ‘Total Applicants’ and the ‘Total PGY-1 Positions’ (total first year residency positions) is in the tens of thousands!
In 2017 there were 28,849 positions offered in residencies with a whopping 54,110 applicants meaning:
Under The Best Conditions 25,110 Residency Applicants Will Do Not Get Placed In A Residency Program Per Year.
Residency is required by all 50 States to be licensed to practice as a physician.
How can they ever fix the Doctor Deficit when there is also a deficit in the number of residencies offered?
This leads to doctors being turned away from patients due to licensing issues.
Assistant Physicians Were Made To Fill A Need
Assistant physicians have already started providing care for under-served rural areas such as the Ozarks and under-served urban areas such as downtown St. Louis.
AMDAP is in Association with FreedomForDoctors.org
FREEDOM was established for the purposes of promoting the advancement of the interests of medical doctors at all stages of their careers.