Next generation of healthcare professionals graduate from LSU Health Shreveport

Graduating LSU Health Shreveport students started off the Memorial Day weekend celebrating a great accomplishment in their education and pursuit of a career in the medical field.

192 students graduated with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, or Doctorate degree. Eight students received a PhD or Master’s degree from the School of Graduate Studies; 62 students received a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate from the School of Allied Health Professions; and 122 students graduated from the School of Medicine to become Doctors of Medicine.

According to a U.S. News and World Report annual survey, the national acceptance rate to medial school for 2017-2018 was 7 percent, showing just how competitive the field is and how hard these students have worked to arrive where they are today.

This moment is important not just to the students and those who have supported them over the last four years, but also to our community due to a shortage of physicians looming in our future. Last month, theAssociation of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released their annual study of physician supply and demand. The findings estimate a shortage of 42,600 to 121,300 doctors by 2030 due to the consistently increasing population and medical needs of people. This makes the training of doctors today imperative for our future.

This problem is recognized by LSU Health Shreveport leadership, and the School of Medicine has increased the size of its incoming class to 137 students in an effort to combat the physician shortage. A larger class size also increases the likelihood of those students to stay in Louisiana to continue their training in residency programs. The state of Louisiana ranks 5th in the nation for percentage of physicians retained in the state after attending a public medical school, with 54.4% remaining in the state.

Doctors have a major impact on our state’s economy. The 2018 American Medical Association Economic Impact Study looked at the economic impact of physicians nationally and by state. In Louisiana, 10,062 physicians provide patient care and support 119,515 jobs. They generate $19.9 billion in total economic activity. The full state report can be viewed here.

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