By next year, New Jersey will have have a doctor shortfall of 2,800 physicians.

Nationally,  the estimate is that by the year 2030, there will be a shortage of 120,000 doctors.

"As the baby boomers are aging, it's going to be a real challenge and put a real strain on the system," said U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, who is proposing legislation to address this.

At the heart of the problem are the federally mandated caps on hospital graduate medical education slots that many believe are outdated at this point in time. It means that some New Jersey medical programs lack the adequate slots to train as many doctors as possible, causing qualified individuals to pursue employment opportunities out of state.

"They need to build a program that can sustain itself and have and keep doctors from leaving," Gottheimer said.

The legislation would increase the number of graduate medical education slots for community hospitals, and allow them to adjust their residency caps to reflect today's needs.

"I think this is really just about making sure we're ready for ready for the future here. Having doctors and a strong life sciences sector in New Jersey is key to our economy. It's obviously about our health and it's about our economic growth," he said.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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