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Louisiana Physician Shortage Facts

Physician supply lags behind patient demand nationally and across Louisiana. 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.
  • 32.8% of Louisiana physicians are within retirement range right now.

Louisiana is projected to be short 4,820 doctors.4,5,6

  • Primary care alone is projected to be short 392 providers.
  • There are only 313 residency slots in Louisiana for primary care each year.
  • 45.2% of those residents will practice out of state.

Overall, Louisiana ranks in the bottom half of states for primary care and physician availability.7

60 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes are health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).8,9,10

  • 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.
  • 1,889,316 Louisiana residents live in an HPSA.

Louisiana’s physician-to-patient ratio is 8% worse than the national average: