As millions of Americans buy health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act .. demand for medical services is bound to skyrocket. This comes as the nation already has a shortage of primary care physicians ..raising questions about extra crowded doctors' offices ..and most importantly .. the QUALITY of patient care. Channel 4's Elizabeth Campbell took these questions to a local doctor...she joins us LIVE...Elizabeth? 3 There are approximately 48 MILLION uninsured people in the United States. But with insurance through the Affordable Care Act kicking in next year AND a couple dozen states expanding who is eligible for Medicaid, that means there will be more patients -- and in turn -- the need for more doctors. 3 00-0506-11SOT - 4408 i know in this area a lot of the graduates are now staying in this area a lot of hospitals are looking to employ new graduates because they realize there is going to be an influx of patients TRACK - Dr. William Schwartz says starting in January of 2014 many of the 44 million people who are currently UN insured -- will now be covered through the Affordable Care Act -- adding many of them will want to take advantage of their new coverage.Schwartz says there is already a national shortage of doctors -- and the influx of patients will only make this worse.PRE PRO - According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, we're currently down about 20,000 primary care physicians and the number is expected to get worse as nearly half the nation's physicians are over age 50 -- at or near retirement age. The Annals of Family Medicine journal projected the country will need 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025, mainly due to population growth and only one in five graduating medical residents plan to go into primary care, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.TRACK - Although the increase in patients will be a burden to primary care offices, Schwartz expects and hopes it will be a gradual transition -- allowing offices to adjust as needed. SOT - 4651 i dont think that 30 million plus people are getting insurance immediately i really dont think its going to be a turn key operation from what i see it will be a gradual process and as long as its gradual i think the physicians and mid level extenders will be able to accommodate and most likely get additional physicians and mid level providers as needed Like many other experts, Dr, Schwartz added that no one REALLY knows yet how the ACA is going to play out since it will be a work in progress.He says he thinks everything will happen in small waves and that it will probably take years for the ACA to really take full affect. 3 So to fill this need .. does doctor Schwarz .. think more practices will be hiring medical school graduates .. who've just completed their residency? Well typically a doctor's office might not be as eager to hire someone if they are fresh out of medical school .. but this shortage could change that. Not only will offices look to hire brand new graduates, they will also look to hire more nurse practitioners and physicians assistants.