The current doctor shortage is artificially created but very real in the hardships it imposes on patients and payers. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-03-02-doctor-shortage_x.htm
The only group that benefits from this scarcity are doctors themselves for obvious reasons. But now even some (though few) of the doctors talk of expanding the pipeline. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/532152
The case being made out is for Medicare and Medicaid to massively increase the allocations so as to expand the pool of residents. That will of course be money well spent, helping patients and saving money in the long term. But even this may not be necessary.
Most hospitals value their residents. Anyone who has been to a hospital (or even watched shows like Grey's Anatomy or ER) can see how much of the work and care is handled by medical residents. They are after all skilled (particularly past the first year of residency) and cheap labor drawing $40-$50K a year for working 80 hour weeks. Some of those hours may go into classroom-like training or learning by watching, but most of them directly and considerably benefit the hospital.
So why not allow hospitals who want extra residents (outside of caps imposed by the ACGME or RRCs) without subsidies from Medicare to simply take them on? Many experienced foreign doctors also can be brought in this way, who can more than earn their keep as residents from day one. Then there are US medical students who are currently excluded from residency (or residency in their preferred specialization) because of the caps on such residencies. They may be required to pay their way or forgo a part or all of their stipends to the extent that hospitals consider them worth taking in without receiving subsidies. Or they may be required to execute a bond that commits them to work for a certain period at that hospital after graduating, or else to refund their cost of training. Whatever the arrangement I predict there will be no dearth of deserving takers for such offers.
Ignoring any special interests that benefit from the shortage and launching a concerted effort to vastly expand the physician supply should be a top priority for the government.