Every year, the president delivers his “State of the Union” address, and every year, the Massachusetts Medical Society puts out what I think of as its “State of our Doctors” report. The president usually sums up the state of the union as “strong,” or “sound” or some similarly reassuring adjective. The Mass. Medical Society report — formally titled the Physician Workforce Study — is now out here, and might be speechified as “The state of our primary care workforce remains tight.” Also, “The farther you get from Boston, the fewer physicians want to go there.”
From the report’s summary:
The Massachusetts Medical Society’s 13th annual Physician Workforce Study found that four physician specialties in Massachusetts in short supply:
The study showed striking differences in physician recruitment and retention among the state’s five regional labor markets. With the Boston/Greater Boston market as a baseline for comparison, the study shows that it is three times as difficult to fill physician vacancies in the Pittsfield/Western Massachusetts market, twice as difficult in the Springfield market, and more than one-and-a-half times as difficult for the Worcester and New Bedford/Barnstable regions than it is for the Boston/Greater Boston region.
From WBUR and the AP:
Massachusetts Medical Society President Ronald Dunlap says it’s the eighth consecutive year the survey has found critical or severe shortages in family medicine and internal medicine, the two primary care specialties.
“Twenty, 30 years ago, people would love to stay here because it’s such a great region, most people would take a discount to stay in Massachusetts,” Dunlap said. “But more recently we’re less competitive. So we train more residents than any other area but we retain fewer of them than we have in the past.” Continue reading