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No Shortage of Doctors, Just a Maldistribution

June 27, 1987

I have read with special interest recent articles regarding the current doctor glut. I would like to add my perspective.

In 1983, I left my training program in Los Angeles to practice internal medicine in a small but rapidly growing beautiful mountain community 90 miles north of Los Angeles. I went to an area where my services were needed, and my private practice has grown very rapidly. In fact, I see about as many new patients in a typical month as some of my cohorts who remained in private practice in Los Angeles see in a year.

I have become so busy that I have been seeking an internist for a partner for about a year. I have offered a good starting salary with equal partnership in time, but I have yet to attract significant interest despite written inquiries I have made to training programs and ads that I have placed in newspapers, trade, and medical society journals.

The message is clear--there is no doctor excess at present, but instead there is simply a maldistribution.

The physicians being trained today prefer to practice in the "doctor-glutted" big cities, while the rural areas have difficulty attracting needed primary care physicians.

TERRY J. WARSAW MD

Tehachapi

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