In the United States of America, there are a plethora of different medical career paths that one may take. Among them, becoming a Doctor of Medicine (MD) is one of the most popular choices. But just how many MDs are in the US? This is a question that many individuals may ask, whether they are considering a career in the medical field or simply curious about the number of medical professionals in the country. In this article, we will uncover the truth and provide you with up-to-date statistics and other relevant information regarding the number of MDs in the US.
The Current Number of MDs in the US
According to data from the American Medical Association (AMA), as of 2018, there were approximately 954,000 MDs in the United States. This includes both active and inactive physicians. The same data shows that there were 196,000 medical students, 130,000 resident physicians, and 17,000 fellows in training in the same year. These numbers highlight the depth of the medical workforce in the US.
What Are the Different Types of MDs in the US?
The term “MD” can be used to describe several different types of medical professionals in the United States. Some of the most common include:
- General practitioners/family physicians: These medical doctors provide primary care to a wide range of patients, from pediatric to geriatric, and treat common illnesses, injuries, and chronic conditions.
- Specialists: MDs who have completed additional training in a certain area of medicine, such as cardiology, gastroenterology, or dermatology, among others.
- Surgeon: MDs who specialize in surgical procedures, such as cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, or plastic surgery, among others.
What is the Education Path to Becoming an MD in the US?
For individuals interested in becoming an MD in the US, there are several steps involved in the education and training process. These include:
- Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree: MD programs generally require a pre-medical degree, which typically takes four years to complete.
- Taking the MCAT: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test that medical schools use to evaluate applicants’ knowledge and skills related to the practice of medicine.
- Attending Medical School: Medical school programs generally take four years to complete and include both classroom and clinical training.
- Completing a Residency Program: After medical school, graduates must complete a residency program, which can last from three to seven years, depending on the medical specialty.
- Becoming Licensed: MDs must obtain a medical license to practice medicine legally in the US.
Where is the Highest Concentration of MDs in the US?
As of 2018, the highest concentration of MDs in the US can be found in Washington D.C., with a rate of 1,506.45 MDs per 100,000 individuals. Other states with high concentrations include Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York. On the other hand, some of the states with the lowest concentrations of MDs include Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana.
What is the Gender Distribution of MDs in the US?
As of 2018, approximately 36% of MDs in the US were female, while 64% were male. However, the percentage of female MDs has been steadily increasing in recent years. For example, in 2010, approximately 32% of MDs were female.
What is the Age Distribution of MDs in the US?
According to data from the AMA, as of 2018, the age distribution of MDs in the US was as follows:
|Age Range||Percentage of MDs|
|35 and under||25.5%|
|56 and older||27.5%|
The Consequences of a Decreasing Number of MDs in the US
The number of MDs in the US is crucial to the healthcare system and can have significant consequences if it were to decrease. Some of the potential consequences include:
- A shortage of medical professionals, which could result in longer wait times for patients to see a doctor and less access to healthcare in general.
- An increase in healthcare costs, as fewer MDs mean a higher demand for their services, which could lead to higher costs for patients and insurance providers.
- A decrease in the quality of care, as fewer MDs could result in a lack of specialized care for certain medical conditions, and patients may have to settle for a lesser quality of care overall.
The number of MDs in the US is a crucial piece of information for anyone involved in the healthcare system, from patients to medical professionals to policymakers. As of 2018, there were approximately 954,000 MDs in the US, serving a population of over 328 million people. The number of MDs has significant implications for the healthcare system and the quality of care provided to patients. It is essential to monitor the number of MDs, as well as other trends in the medical profession, to ensure that the US healthcare system is well-equipped to meet the needs of its citizens.
Most Common Questions About How Many MDs Are in the US, Answered
- Q: What is the current number of MDs in the US?
- A: As of 2018, there were approximately 954,000 MDs in the United States.
- Q: What are the different types of MDs in the US?
- A: There are several different types of MDs in the US, including general practitioners/family physicians, specialists, and surgeons.
- Q: Where is the highest concentration of MDs in the US?
- A: As of 2018, the highest concentration of MDs in the US is in Washington D.C., with a rate of 1,506.45 MDs per 100,000 individuals.
- Q: What is the gender distribution of MDs in the US?
- A: As of 2018, approximately 36% of MDs in the US were female, while 64% were male.
- Q: What is the age distribution of MDs in the US?
- A: According to data from the AMA, as of 2018, 25.5% of MDs were 35 and under, 22.5% were 36-45, 24.5% were 46-55, and 27.5% were 56 and older.
American Medical Association. (2019). AMA Physician Masterfile. Retrieved from https://www.ama-assn.org/life-career/ama-physician-masterfile
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Physicians and Surgeons. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm
Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology. (2014). The US Health Workforce Chartbook. Retrieved from https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/12019314