Mass Exodus of Retiring Physicians Means Big Opportunity for Medical Students

March 8, 2016


If you’re a current or prospective medical student, you’ve likely heard that an expected shortage of physicians in multiple specialties is just around the corner. The Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of more than 130,000 family physicians alone by 2025. More than 20 other medical specialties also are expected to fall short of demand over the coming years. In fact, total physician demand is projected to grow by upward of 17 percent and by 2025, demand for physicians will exceed supply by a range of 46,000 to 90,000, research shows.

Among the top reasons for the coming supply vs. demand crisis is that as Baby Boomers age and need more frequent and intense medical care, those among them who make their livings as physicians also are aging and opting for retirement.

Here is the breakdown by specialty of physicians nearing retirement, with the hardest-hit specialties listed first:

  • Occupational Medicine: 78 percent
  • Cardiology Non Invasive: 50 percent
  • Ophthalmology: 44 percent
  • Orthopedic surgery: 44 percent
  • Neurology: 43 percent
  • Gastroenterology: 42 percent
  • Anesthesiology: 41 percent
  • Internal Medicine: 40 percent
  • Otolaryngology: 38 percent
  • Dermatology: 38 percent
  • Family Medicine: 37 percent
  • Pediatrics: 35 percent
  • Neurological Surgery: 34 percent
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology: 34 percent
  • General Surgery: 33 percent
  • Nephrology: 32 percent
  • Emergency Medicine: 30 percent
  • Oncology: 13 percent
  • Hospitalist: 1 percent

If you’re considering a career in medicine, make sure you’re ready to take full advantage of the coming opportunities. Call 904-209-3140 and speak with a WOLFPACC enrollment specialist about how we can help assure your success in your medical studies and your USMLE and COMLEX testing.