“The U.S. could see a shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by 2033, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges cited in a July 25 Time report.

The report laid out six solutions, highlighting that an “innovative multipronged” approach will be required to solve the multifaceted problem.

The solutions:
1. More funding: Some hospital systems have been working to provide more residency spots through additional funding sources amid declining reimbursement from the federal government. These efforts have helped in certain areas, the report said.
2. Debt relief: Student loan forgiveness will be a necessary consideration when it comes to lower-paying specialties like primary care, the report said. A federal funding program to reduce the burden of medical school debt is a key piece of the solution.
3. Technology: Increased use of telemedicine can help ease the burden on physicians while offering care to patients in remote locations.
4. Expanding the care team: Medicine should be moving toward a “multidisciplinary, care team approach,” the report said.
5. Reducing paperwork burden: Delegating less complex medical billing data entry and paperwork to other professionals can free up physician time.
6. Boosting diversity and equity: Working to increase the number of physicians of color should be a key consideration, the report said. Efforts to diversify all areas of medicine should “start well before a prospective doctor is old enough to enroll in medical school.”

By: Patsy Newitt