A CA Reader Says Doctors Are Bailing Out Of The Golden State
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From Kathlene Miller

My husband, a medical doctor, and I are discussing leaving California sometime in the not too distant future.

In its July 27, editorial "Doctor Trends by the Numbers," the San Jose Mercury News had an interesting set of statistics about the coming doctor shortfall. [Doctor Trends by the Numbers," Editorial, San Jose Mercury News, July 27, 2007]

One statistic says it all: 62 percent of California doctors believe "a deteriorating quality of life" is a "major" problem.  55 percent of California doctors are considering leaving the state to practice elsewhere.

The major contributor to the state's increasingly intolerable quality of life is rampant immigration. And fewer doctors in California will add to the state's woes.

Here is the complete set of statistics:

55—Percentage of California doctors who say they're considering leaving the state to practice elsewhere.

45—Percentage of California doctors who say they're spending a "great deal" less time with their patients than they did when they started practicing medicine.

62—Percentage of California doctors who believe "a deteriorating quality of life" is a "major" problem for doctors.

1 billion—Estimated number of doctor visits by Americans in 2006.

250,000—The estimated number of primary-care physicians in the United States.

25,000—Estimated number of new doctors who began practicing in the United States in 2006.

3,725—Additional primary-care physicians the United States would have to train every year beginning in 2007 to meet its anticipated needs in 2020.

20—Percentage of Americans who now have inadequate access to primary care physicians.

$428,000—Estimated average income of cardiologists.

$195,000—Estimated average income of dermatologists.

$155,000—Estimated average income of primary-care physicians.

15—The percentage of primary-care physicians who make less than $100,000 annually.

Miller lives in the Bay Area. Her previous letters are here. Send Miller mail c/o [email protected]

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