Research dating back to February 2017 has predicted an increased demand for physicians with a corresponding decrease in physician supply. The study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, entitled ‘The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2015 to 2030’, estimate the demand to range from 40,000 to 105,000 by 2030. This is due to fewer people taking up medicine and the naturally aging demographic of physicians. This is an oncoming state crisis.
To fill labor gaps, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends hiring nurse practitioners. NPs are greater in number although mostly working in the rural landscape to address physician shortage therein. As the same shortages begin to make themselves apparent in the cities, more NPs are transitioning to urban practice.
Their medical education and history show that nurse practitioners (NPs) are more than competent to specialize in fields such as family practice and gynecology. While these specializations and competencies vary per state-mandated curricula, they are able to fulfill many physician functions such as examinations and prescriptions.
NPs earn as little as $53.33 per hour on average versus that of physicians’ $100 per hour considering that NP education takes fewer years and lesser money. This benefits the patient however as the services of NPs are also much more affordable than that of physicians.