I was just reading this article in the news today: http://www.comcast.net/news/health/i...ealth_shortage
According to the article, there has been a 50% decline in the number of med school grads who choose to practice family medicine between 1997 and 2005. That's a pretty big drop by any standard. The two main reasons for the decline are that: 1. Family practice physicians do not appreciate that the HMOs are in control, and 2. There isn't much money to be made in family medicine anymore.
According to this Medscape article, 35% of physicians in the US are over age 55 and will be retiring soon. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/522642
The physicians are hoping that Medicare will increase reimbursement payments for their services but I doubt that will happen. If anything, the government will more likely be looking for ways to cut the payments further, just as private insurers have been doing.
This sucks for primary care physicians, but, quite possibly, it may mean new opportunities for NPs