Ross University School of Medicine Answers New York Times' Call for Solutions to U.S. Physician Shortage


In an editorial published on July 19, 2014, the New York Times Editorial Board addressed the serious issue of the shortage of physicians to meet the needs of patients in the U.S. healthcare system. The editorial, entitled "Bottlenecks in Training Doctors," referenced the American Medical Association's recent warning that the U.S. faces a shortfall of 45,000 primary care physicians by 2020.

Joseph Flaherty, MD, Dean and Chancellor of Ross University School of Medicine, and Richard Carmona, MD, a member of the RUSM Board of Trustees and former U.S. Surgeon General, issued the following statement in the form of a letter to the New York Times:

Letter to the Editor
New York Times
RE: Bottlenecks in Training Doctors, July 19, 2014

The Times notes many obstacles to addressing the shortage of primary care physicians, but neglects one very important question: how can we ensure that graduates who enter primary care remain in it, versus moving  to a sub-specialty? All medical schools produce qualified internists, pediatricians, and family physicians. But where are they in five years, or ten?

At Ross University School of Medicine, many of our students want to work in primary care, and possess the attributes sorely needed in our healthcare workforce: a sense of social commitment, empathy, and the resilience to surmount the challenges that come with the daily practice of medicine. This year more than 800 Ross graduates entered residency in over 40 U.S. states, more than two-thirds of them in primary care programs. If surveys of prior Ross graduates hold true for the future, more than half of these new primary care physicians will remain in primary care following their residency training.

Joseph Flaherty, MD
Dean and Chancellor
Ross University School of Medicine

Richard Carmona, MD
Former Surgeon General, United States of America
Trustee, Ross University School of Medicine