Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 469–472

Health Care Reform and the Primary Care Workforce Bottleneck


DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1921-4

Cite this article as:
Schwartz, M.D. J GEN INTERN MED (2012) 27: 469. doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1921-4


To establish and sustain the high-performing health care system envisioned in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), current provisions in the law to strengthen the primary care workforce must be funded, implemented, and tested. However, the United States is heading towards a severe primary care workforce bottleneck due to ballooning demand and vanishing supply. Demand will be fueled by the “silver tsunami” of 80 million Americans retiring over the next 20 years and the expanded insurance coverage for 32 million Americans in the ACA. The primary care workforce is declining because of decreased production and accelerated attrition. To mitigate the looming primary care bottleneck, even bolder policies will be needed to attract, train, and sustain a sufficient number of primary care professionals. General internists must continue their vital leadership in this effort.


primary care workforce health reform health policy 

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicineNew York University School of Medicine, VA New York Harbor Healthcare SystemNew YorkUSA

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