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Colorado Physician Shortage Facts

Physician supply lags patient demand nationally and across Colorado. As supply falls, patients wait longer to see a doctor, and doctors burn out.

The U.S. is projected to have 120,000 too few doctors nationally.1,2,3

  • Nearly 40% of American physicians will reach retirement age.
  • The United States will face a shortage of over 120,000 physicians.
  • 31.2% of Colorado’s physicians are within retirement range right now.

Colorado is projected to be short 2,424 doctors.4,5,6

  • Primary care alone is projected to be short 1,773 providers.
  • Rural regions east of Denver have ratios as high as 5,636 residents for each primary care provider.

54 of Colorado’s 64 counties are health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).7,8,9

  • Low-income citizens are disproportionately affected by these shortages.
  • HPSA designations indicate areas where there are 3,500 or more patients for every one provider.

Ranked against other states,
Colorado’s doctor-to-patient ratio is:

25% worse
for infectious diseases

20% worse
for internal medicine

15% worse
for neurology

11% worse
for psychiatry