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Survey: Hospital CEOs See Doctor Shortage as a Serious Problem

May 7, 2007
More than 95% Call for More Physician and Nurse Training
Philadelphia, PA

PHILADELPHIA, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when the federal government is considering budget cuts to physician and nurse training, hospital chief executive officers are expressing concern over shortages of physicians and nurses, a new survey indicates.

More than two-thirds of the 400 hospital CEOs who responded to the survey identified physician shortages as a serious problem that must be addressed soon, while over three-fourths said the nurse shortage is a serious problem. Among respondents, 82 percent agreed with the statement that the U.S. has too few physicians, and 96 percent agreed that the U.S. has too few nurses.

Asked if the training capacity for physicians and nurses should be increased, 96 percent of respondents favored an expansion of physician training, and 99.5 percent favored expanding the output of nurses. Only three percent of responding hospital CEOs said that there is no shortage of physicians in the U.S. and less than one percent said that there is no nurse shortage.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the Council on Physician and Nurse Supply by AMN Healthcare, the nation's largest healthcare staffing company. Located at the University of Pennsylvania, the Council is composed of health care leaders dedicated to bringing physician and nurse supply in line with the nation's needs.

Eighty-six percent of hospital CEOs surveyed are currently recruiting physicians, while 89 percent are currently recruiting nurses. Of those recruiting physicians, 81 percent are seeking primary care doctors while 74 percent are seeking specialists. The majority of those recruiting nurses (54 percent) prefer to hire nurses with four-year baccalaureate degrees. According to 94 percent of responding CEOs, recruiting physicians is difficult and/or challenging, while 86 percent indicated that recruiting nurses is difficult and/or challenging.

The Council has voiced concern that the proposed 2008 federal budget calls for significant cuts in funds for training both physicians and nurses. Given the emerging shortage of physicians and the continued shortage of nurses, the Council recommends that Congress consider ways to increase rather than diminish physician and nurse supply.

"This is a time when more national resources should be devoted to training U.S. doctors and nurses," notes Richard "Buz" Cooper, M.D., co-chair of the Council. "To reduce funding for physician and nurse training at this critical time would be a profound mistake."

A copy of the Council on Physician and Nurse Supply's 2007 National Physician and Nurse Supply Survey may be obtained by calling the Council at (215) 746-3177.

About the Council on Physician and Nurse Supply

The Council on Physician and Nurse Supply is an independent, multi- disciplinary group dedicated to studying trends in the demand for physicians and nurses and to proposing ways to better align training capacity with the nation's needs. It is based in the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Care Economics. Funding for the Council is provided by AMN Healthcare.

About AMN Healthcare

AMN Healthcare is the largest temporary healthcare staffing company in the United States. The company is the largest nationwide provider of travel nurse staffing services, locum tenens (temporary physician staffing), physician permanent placement services and also a leading nationwide provider of allied healthcare professionals.

Source: AMN Healthcare

CONTACT: Phillip Miller of AMN Healthcare, +1-469-524-1420,
Phillip.miller@amnhealthcare.com; or Joy McIntyre of University of
Pennsylvania, +1-215-898-5074, joymc@nursing.upenn.edu
 

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