Hawaii Doctor Shortage Worsening, JABSOM Reports

Hawaii’s running out of doctors, but the University of Hawaii’s medical school says it has the solution.

From a press release:

Researchers at The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), University of Hawaii Manoa have found the MD shortage statewide is worsening. Our state is an estimated 747 physicians short of the number we should have currently treating patients, based on Hawaii’s population. There are currently 2,894 physicians practicing in Hawaii. One third of them are 55 or older, approaching retirement. The shortage of 747 MDs statewide is expected to increase to a deficit of 1,448 physicians by 2020, only seven years from now. Hawaii’s population as a whole is aging at one of the highest rates in the nation, which means the doctor deficit is increasing at the same time that patients’ need for health care from age-related illnesses will become more acute.

Here’s an overview of the supply and demand across the state, according to the press release:

  • Oahu’s 2013 supply: 2127 MDs; Current need/demand is 2494
  • Hawaii’s 2013 supply is 336 MDs; Current need/demand is 530 
  • Kauai’s 2013 supply is 130 MDs; Current need/demand is 199 
  • Maui’s 2013 supply is 301 MDs; Current need/demand is 418

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Photo courtesy of Alex E. Proimos

— Alia Wong

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