February 21, 2023 : Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are exploring ways to address the increasing shortage of healthcare workers nationally.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) calculates this shortfall will be more of 124,000 physicians by 2034. And by that moment, doctors say many active physicians will also be aging and striking over 65 years of age.
The leaders from medical schools nationally met with members of Congress recently.
They say the problem isn’t just retaining current healthcare workers. Doctors say they’re also laboring to find staff to teach the next generation of medical trainees, especially for the nursing career.
Senators say they’re also worried about this shortage of nurse teachers.
“When you peek at the requirements, in some states mine included, you have to hold a master’s in nursing to be a nurse teacher. Now I have operated with certificate nurses who have been by the apart for 20 years who learned nursing. The idea that we cannot use individual such as she to educate others, I assume doesn’t realize how much she knows,” stated Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA)
The deficit comes as data from the Health Resources and Services Administration indicates nearly 100 million people live in areas with limited entry to primary healthcare providers.
“It means that nearly 70 million reside in a dental care issue, unable to get dental care while teeth are deteriorating in their mouths. And it suggests that some 158 million Americans – nearly half the inhabitants – live in a mental health care challenges at a time when this country is confronting a major crisis in mental health,” sounded Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chair of the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions (HELP) commission.
Dr. James Hildreth from Meharry Medical College informed lawmakers their graduates are already operating to serve those locations.
Their structure is one of four historically Black medical schools nationwide. He is requesting Congress to invest $5 billion over the coming five years into HBCU medical academies.
“The labs, the simulation posts, study spaces classrooms at our institutions that have been blatantly unfunded for decades,” declared Dr. Hildreth. “This would also permit us to dramatically expand our pipeline agendas that are meant to get more minorities in the healthcare workers.”
Hildreth considers this funding would help them train more doctors who also reminisce the communities that need more aid.
“When the provider group looks like population they are caring for, the outcomes are more useful that’s been shown over and over again – that’s what we fail by not having a diverse workforce, the outcomes for our residents,” said Hildreth.
Some doctors say increased debt is another factor turning people away from the medical field. They’re also requesting for tools to help ease that financial responsibility.