Hamden, Conn. — The Affordable Care Act is bringing about 30 million new patients into the medical system, but it's coming as the nation is poised to lose about a third of its doctors.
The biggest shortages will likely fall in primary care fields.
"You've heard about the fiscal cliff, I think we're on the verge of a health care cliff," said Dr. Bruce Koeppen, dean of the School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.
Doctors in the United States are aging; about one in three plans to retire in the next decade.
"That's almost a quarter of a million physicians that will leave the work force," Koeppen said.
The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of 130,000 doctors by the year 2025.
Quinnipiac University, however, is on a mission to fix that shortfall by offering fellowships for students going into general practice and enticing them away from the higher paying specialties.
With the doctor shortage looming, medical student Timothy O'Rourke picked a good time to become a physician.
"We need to take into consideration the country as a whole and the huge gap in primary care specifically," O'Rourke said.
For the university's first class, 2,000 students applied for just 60 spots.