Despite Training Hospitals, South Florida Will Still Face Doctor Shortage

Feb 18, 2015

Credit Timmy Gunz / Creative Commons/Flickr

Getting an appointment with a doctor may get a lot harder over the next ten years, according to a study out this week.

The report, commissioned by the Teaching Hospital Council of Florida and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, says Florida is facing a troubling shortage of specialist doctors - to the tune of almost 7,000. Even though South Florida has a number of teaching hospitals, the survey finds the region will still feel the crunch, especially in Palm Beach County.

For specialists, the biggest supply-and-demand gap in South Florida is expected in psychiatry, general surgery and radiology.

The number of general physicians, on the other hand, should be adequate, while the region is seeing a surplus of doctors in geriatrics and pediatrics.

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida is an alliance of of 14 teaching, public and children’s hospitals in the state. They include Jackson Health, Broward Health, Mount Sinai, Memorial Healthcare and Miami Children’s Hospital.

Health care experts have taken the study as a warning and a nudge to raise recruitment of medical students into Florida residency programs and stem the outflow of those new doctors to other states.