To help counteract this problem, medical schools are increasing the sizes of their classes and new medical schools are opening across the country. This increased pool of potential healthcare providers will hopefully increase the number of PCPs as well. However, this is not a guarantee. Medical students often choose specialized care rather than primary care because the former has larger paychecks. When students are embarking on their careers with high student loan debts, this difference in pay is important. Additionally, the patient/physician interaction that one gets in specialty care is often perceived as being better, allowing physicians to spend more time with their interesting cases, rather than being rushed through 15 minute interviews for repetitively normal casework. The lure of the exciting side of medicine may sway students towards specialty care.
The medical field must counteract the misconception that primary care is not as appealing as other areas of medicine. Emphasis should be placed on the fact that PCPs are the first-line of care and can develop more personal connections with their patients than those who practice in specialty care. By focusing on the human aspects and the non-monetary rewards that can be experienced, perhaps PCP numbers can rise to meet the coming demand.