Elisabeth: The current unemployment rate for physicians is eight percent, so I don’t believe this is the crux of the problem. Actually, the limit on residency slots functions similarly to a labor cartel for physicians.
Nathan: I think the issue is that the number of residency slots is determined by the U.S. Congress, and it has not been increased in 15 years. Meanwhile, many new medical schools have opened up to meet the growing demand for physicians.
Vikram: This restriction of slots leads to intense competition among students for well-paying specialties (plastic surgery, dermatology, radiation oncology, etc.) while primary care specialties have a hard time filling their open slots. With fewer primary care physicians being trained, people may have a more difficult time accessing care.