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Kentucky Doctor Shortage

Becky Gillette from Arkansas Medical News

Kentucky has a critical shortage of primary care physicians and prospects for changing that anytime soon appear unlikely…That dim assessment is from the University of Kentucky’s Associate Dean for Rural and Community Health.

Doctor Kevin Pearce was among those who participated in a panel discussion in Morehead Wednesday about Kentucky’s shortage of health care professionals. Pearce says there are 9,500 doctors in the Commonwealth but just 2,800 are primary care physicians. He says Kentucky would have to produce 145 new primary care doctors annually to keep up with demand but the state offers just 105 primary care residencies…

Doctor Pearce says Kentucky actually needs about 1,300 primary care physicians right now to meet the national average per capita. He thinks the Commonwealth will remain far behind in its supply of doctors without systematic changes in how health care is provided.