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Rochester Sees Effect of U.S. Healthcare Provider Shortage

March 22, 2017 11:30 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Patients may soon be experiencing longer wait times during their hospitals visits all over Rochester.

A new report by the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts the shortage of doctors in the U.S. is going to grow worse, and it might even be a bigger problem than they originally thought.

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But some say there’s no reason to be concerned.

“I am certain that healthcare providers in Southeastern Minnesota have been planning for the fact that there is going to be a shortage of doctors,” said Connie Bagley, Executive Director of the Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging. “That's why we have seen, in recent years, a significant growth in the number of physician assistants and nurse practitioners."

The problem, at least locally, is there are not enough training slots available for residents after they graduate from medical school. As a result, the Minnesota Medical Association is worried its goal of making Minnesota the "best place to practice medicine" is going to go downhill.

“We also need to try and get a designation of more residency slots, especially for primary care. This is really a federal government decision,” said Dr. Douglas Wood, Chair of the Minnesota Medical Association. “So both the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and the Mayo Medical School will be working hard to make sure there are enough training slots for residents who are interested in those types of careers."

The Minnesota Medical Association says it's important to have an adequate number of physicians in Minnesota, especially with Mayo Clinic being ranked as the number one hospital in the country. It did propose some solutions, which would require the federal government to lift a cap on federally-funded medical positions.


Credits

Lynnette Miller

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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