Planning to use a physician’s services sometime in the next few decades? You might want to make an appointment now. For a variety of reasons, the number of physicians in the United States is rising much more slowly than the demand for their services.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of doctors practicing in the United States will increase by just 7 percent between 2008 and 2018. During the same 10 years, the Census Bureau predicts that the number of Americans who are older than 65—the group that requires the most health care—will increase by 36 percent.

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