The census also reports that the number of licensed physicians between 60 and 69 years old grew to almost 192,000 (19.5%) in 2018, up 38% from the 139,000 doctors in their 60s in 2010. Also, the number of licensed physicians 70 and older grew to more than 106,000 (10.8%) in 2018. That’s nearly a 40% jump from the 2010 figure of 76,000.
Meanwhile, 37% of male licensed physicians were 60 years of age or older, compared with only 17% of female doctors.
If physician supply stays the same, the U.S. is expected to experience a shortage of 124,000 full-time physicians by 2025, and—even if medical schools increase enrollment—it will not be sufficient to meet future demand, the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Center for Workforce Studies projects.
The health care delivery system is undergoing significant changes that will carry implications for senior physicians and their ability to stay in practice and play a crucial role in filling this gap. The AMA Senior Physicians Section can help extend physicians’ careers in clinical medicine and, in many cases, facilitate reentry into medical practice.