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Boomers retiring to rural areas won't find doctors

Posted: September 1, 2012 10:47 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2012 10:47 a.m.
 

 

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — As record numbers of baby boomers retire, many are considering moving to rural areas.

But if they choose small towns like Grants Pass, Ore., they could have a hard time finding a family doctor who takes Medicare.

At the Mid-Rogue Independent Physician Association, medical director Dr. Lyle Jackson says they have a hard time recruiting new primary care doctors as others retire or move away.

Experts say rural areas need 20,000 new primary care doctors. But fewer doctors are choosing the field. Specialties offer higher pay, and many new doctors prefer life in a city, if only so their spouses can find a job.

Economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School says Affordable Care Act incentives could encourage nurse practitioners and physician assistants to fill the gap.

 

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