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South Carolina Physician Shortage Facts


Physician supply lags patient demand nationally and across South Carolina. 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

South Carolina is projected to be short 3,230 doctors by 2030.

  • Primary care alone is projected to be short 815 providers.3
South Carolina ranks in the bottom half of states in the country

South Carolina ranks in the bottom half of states in the country in the availability of primary care doctors and general surgeons and for physician supply overall.4

41 of South Carolina’s 46 counties are health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).5

  • 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.6

South Carolina’s physician to patient ratio is 23 percent worse than the national average.

59% worse for infectious disease medicine

68 worse in pediatric critical care medicine

28% worse in preventive medicine

33% worse in psychiatry