physician shortages

City & State New York

New York City’s public hospitals, which form a critical safety net for many low-income residents, are facing a shortage of doctors who work in primary care, the day-to-day physicians with whom patients make first contact, such as those in family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine.

There is no shortage of primary care doctors in the state as a whole, according to a 2018 report from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany. But New York’s doctors are poorly distributed, with almost a third of the state’s population living in a federally designated health professional shortage area – including many in poorer areas of New York City, such as East New York, Brownsville and Washington Heights.

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The Buffalo News

Physician shortages, especially in primary care, have become a problem throughout the United States, as fewer medical students go into the field and older doctors retire. Primary care includes internal and family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics-gynecology.

There were about 1,500 primary care doctors in 2015 in Western New York, about 70 percent of them in family or internal medicine, according to the University of Albany Center for Health Workforce Studies. This region had 72.2 family and internal medicine doctors per 100,000 population compared to a statewide average of 85.5.

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