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As the American population grows, ages, and gains better access to affordable health insurance, the demand for primary medical services 1 are expected to skyrocket. As a result, the United States Department of Health and Human Services projects a shortage of about 20,000 primary care physicians by 2020. Therefore, an important challenge facing the healthcare industry is how to address this shortfall without sacrificing quality of care. One possible solution is to 2 elevate more medical school graduates to choose primary care as their field instead of 3 their choosing the more lucrative specialties like surgery and dermatology.
 Another option is to incorporate more medical professionals like physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) into primary care teams.  They can talk with patients about treatment options, prescribe medications, and even 4 perform technical procedures like bone marrow aspirations.  Many healthcare providers are moving toward this "team-based" model, 5 where physicians can better focus on their specialties while relying on trained professionals to provide other necessary services.  Team-based medicine allows medical practitioners to best utilize their particular skills, 6 still sharing the successes and struggles of the team.  If organized around the principles of professionalism, trust, communication, and accountability, these teams may be able to provide better care to patients at less cost. 7
For all the promise of team-based primary medicine, it cannot work without an adequate supply of well-trained health professionals. Although the total number of PAs in the United States more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, 8 the number of PAs going into primary care has decreased by 20% over that same time period. In the years ahead, we must encourage more of these new PAs to choose careers in primary care.
Undergraduate students considering a career in medicine have many more options 9 than they did just a generation ago. Graduate PA and NP programs, which take about three years, are becoming increasingly attractive, especially 10 being that MD programs, including residency, lasting seven to ten years and often leave students saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Anyone thinking about pursuing a PA or NP degree should keep in mind that these programs aren't cheap, either, and that most states impose strict limits on the kinds of treatment 11 they can provide.
7. The author is considering inserting the following sentence into this paragraph.
Although they receive less training than physicians do, these professionals have advanced degrees and can provide direct treatment to patients.
Where should it be placed?
8. Which choice is best supported by the data in the graph?
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