Healthcare Reform and its Impact on Physician Supply and Demand


The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010 sought to expand coverage to approximately 30 million new patients in the United States. However, the amount of new patients requiring care exceeds the existing supply of physicians – particularly with primary care physician shortages already being cited in many areas of the country. Therefore, it is imperative to understand where these physician shortages are most acute in order to best provide patients access to care.


Resources to Better Understand Physician Shortages and Patient Access to Care


The Physicians Foundation provides healthcare providers and policy leaders with critical resources to help them better understand how physician shortages will directly impact physicians, patients and the broader healthcare system. Our past and current research offers valuable insights to help inform prudent policy formation to address the supply and demand for physicians in the future.


The Foundation has awarded grants and conducted research related to this area, all with the goal of addressing the growing challenges that physician shortages will have on patient care and the healthcare system.

Physician Shortage

Board member, Russell Libby, MD, shared a presentation on behalf of the Physicians Foundation at American Associaton of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) 2016 Annual Conference. He focused on the Foundation's mission to build greater awareness of trending physician practice issues such as physician burnout and shortages.

Louis J. Goodman, PhD, Board member of the Physicians Foundation and Tim Norbeck, CEO of the Physicians Foundation discuss how to combat the challenge of physician shortages on the Physicians Foundation Forbes channel.

Every two years, the Physicians Foundation conducts a national survey of physicians to provide policy makers, healthcare influencers, media and other stakeholders insights into the state of the medical profession and the most pressing challenges facing the U.S. healthcare system.  The 2014 survey polled more than 20,000 physicians on a range of issues, including professional morale, doctor shortages, Medicare / Medicaid...

The Physicians Foundation conducted one of the largest physician surveys ever undertaken in the U.S. to provide doctors with a clear voice on the most pressing issues facing our nation regarding the delivery of healthcare. The survey examines physician morale, practice patterns, patient accessibility and career plans. Comprehensive Survey of 13,575 U.S. Physicians Points Toward Substantial Challenges for Patient...

In 2011, the Foundation awarded a $750,000 grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop a dynamic, web-based projection model to track physician shortages across the United States.

In 2010, the Foundation commissioned a white paper written by the University of California at Los Angeles, which examined and analyzed the supply and demand of primary care physicians in the aftermath of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

In 2008, the Foundation commissioned a report examining how proposed changes in healthcare policy might impact the demand for physicians and the ability of their practices to provide optimum patient care.  In particular, the report pointed to evidence of physician shortages developing across all specialties and regions of the United States, and implications for patient access to care. Read the...