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Exploring The Why Behind California’s Primary Care Physician Shortage

California is facing a shortage of physicians in rural areas and lower income cities.
California is facing a shortage of physicians in rural areas and lower income cities.
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According to a new piece in CAL Matters, California’s growing shortage of primary care physicians is hitting low-income and rural areas the hardest. 

About a third of doctors in the state are over the age of 55, nearing the edge of retirement. Meanwhile, there aren’t nearly enough doctors going into primary care, especially in places like the Central Coast, the Central Valley and the Southern Border. 

What’s behind the shortage of primary care physicians? Steep student loans which incentivize docs toward specialization, the draw of populated areas and small MediCal reimbursements are among the culprits. 

We dive into the latest data, as well as efforts to address the physician shortage in California. 

Plus, if you work in the medical field, have you felt the impact of the shortage? If you are a patient in an under-serviced area, have you noticed the lack of primary care physicians? Or if you’re a med student, what is driving you towards or away from primary care? 

Call us at 866-893-5722. 

With guest host Libby Denkmann


Elizabeth Aguilera, reporter with CALMatters covering health and social services; her latest piece is “Paging more doctors: California’s worsening physician shortage”

Dr. Mark Henderson, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine, he’s also the Vice Chair for Education and Associate Dean for Admissions