While at the New America Foundation, I wrote a paper on the health care workforce with Shannon Brownlee and Thom Walsh. That paper has finally been released, and I think it has the potential to be a useful contribution to how people think about health care workforce planning.
The tl;dr: The health care workforce pays a lot of highly-skilled people to do jobs that they don’t need to be doing, either because their tasks could be done more cheaply by someone less highly trained, or because the work they’re doing doesn’t need to happen at all (since it doesn’t benefit patients). There are examples scattered across the country of health care systems that do a better job of using their workforce effectively, and it allows them to provide good care with much lower spending. We need to focus workforce development efforts on emulating those more efficient systems.