Number of Actively Licensed Doctors in U.S. Nears 1 Million Mark
Is there a doctor in the house? Yes. Lots.
The number of actively licensed physicians in the U.S. reached 953,695 in 2016, rising ever closer to the 1 million mark, according to a report released by the Federation of State Medical Boards.
The Euless, Texas-based FSMB, which represents 70 state and U.S. territory allopathic and osteopathic medical licensing boards, published its report in the Journal of Medical Regulation. Starting in 2010, the FSMB conducts a biennial census of physicians with active medical licenses using data from the 65 state boards in the U.S.
In its latest census, the FSBM said the number of physicians with active licenses in the U.S. rose 12.2 percent to 953,695 last year from 850,085 in 2010 with 103,610 newly trained doctors entering the medical profession over that time. The number of actively licensed doctors per 100,000 people rose to 295 in 2016 from 277 in 2010.
“These censuses demonstrate a growing and more diverse physician population,” the report said.
In Minnesota, the number of physicians with active medical licenses reached 23,494, the report said. That’s up 16.5 percent from 20,174 in 2012. (The FSMB did not publish a state-by-state breakdown in 2010.) The number of physicians per 100,000 Minnesotans was 426 in 2016 or 44.4 percent higher than the rate nationally. It also represents 13.6 percent increase since 2012, when there were 375 actively licensed doctors for every 100,000 people in the state.
Nationally, the demographics of the physician population in the U.S. did not change much over the past seven years in terms of education, according to the report. For example, the percentage of doctors who graduated from a U.S. or Canadian medical school was virtually unchanged—76.4 percent in 2010 versus 76 percent in 2016.
The biggest changes were in gender and age. Females represented 33.5 percent of the physicians with active licenses in 2016, up from 29.7 percent in 2010. Last year, 29.3 percent of the doctors were 60 years of age or older compared with 25.2 percent in 2010.