Addressing the Nation’s Physician Shortage

The medical field is a challenging and rewarding career, but it is undergoing a tremendous transition. As we’re experiencing new pressures to meet the growing need for doctors, the most vulnerable low-income and rural communities in the U.S. are feeling the biggest impact on healthcare access.

How will we reverse the trend?

An existing shortfall—of about 20,000 physicians—is rapidly multiplying in almost every specialty, especially in the field of primary care. In 12 years, the projected shortage in the U.S.—across all specialties—is expected to more than quadruple to 81,180 physicians in 2035, according to the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis. In the field of primary care, the physician shortage forecast is between 17,800 and 48,000 by 2034, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

There are many complex reasons for challenges in the healthcare landscape. We have a growing U.S. population. Also, we are an aging demographic. Just as people are needing more medical care, the physician pool is reaching retirement age in greater numbers. Almost 25 percent of the physician pool is 65 years and older.

Increased Funding for Training

The good news is that Congress has already voted to increase funding for educational programs with the goal of training 15,000 physicians per year and adding 3,000 new residency slots over five years. Education will be a huge part of the solution and UC Santa Cruz is stepping up to help train these new physicians. We want to help fill the most critical gaps in service.

The First UC Premed Postbacc Program in Silicon Valley

I’m thrilled to announce that UCSC Silicon Valley Extension is working with our main campus and numerous experts in the state to launch the first UC premed postbaccalaureate program in Silicon Valley this fall. It’s an exciting time. 

We’ve created a multi-faceted program to provide support, experience, and practical skills for the next generation of physicians to build successful careers.

Please visit our website to learn more about the new Premed Postbacc Specialization, which will introduce aspiring physicians to critical skills, medical school funding options, partnerships with healthcare providers, top trends in healthcare, and how to complete a successful medical school application. 

Premed Postbacc Program Events

We invite you to hear about this unique program at our next webinar.

You can also learn more in these recently recorded events:

Building Your Career in Medicine | Part I of a three-part summer premed webinar series
The Doctor’s ToolBox—Skills for a Successful Medical Career | Part II of a three-part summer premed webinar series.

Make a Difference

If you’re interested in having an extraordinary and direct impact on the lives of people in your community, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help you pursue your medical school dreams.

— P.K. Agarwal, Dean, UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

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