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Iowa Physician Shortage Facts

Physician supply lags patient demand nationally and across Iowa. 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.

  • Nearly 40% of American physicians will reach retirement age by 2030.1
  • By 2030, the United States will face a shortage of over 120,000 physicians.2
  • 31.9% of Iowa physicians are within retirement range right now.3

Idaho is projected to be short 1,660 doctors by 2030.

  • Primary care alone is projected to be short 119 providers.5

Iowa ranks in the bottom half of states in the country in availability of primary care doctors and for physician supply overall.4

65 of Iowa’s 99 counties are health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).6

  • 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.7

Iowa’s physician-to-patient ratio is 30 percent worse than the national average.

80% worse for emergency medicine

79% worse in geriatric medicine

90% worse in internal medicine

63% worse in pediatrics

72% worse in psychiatry