Eye On Boise

Idaho's doctor shortage threatens to worsen...

Not only does Idaho rank 49th in the nation for its number of doctors per capita, many of the state’s current doctors are expected to retire in the next few years, and the state, which has no medical school, is lagging on training new ones. “Knowing that it can take up to 11 years after high school to produce a physician, Idaho really has some challenges ahead as these physicians start retiring,” Dr. Mary Barinaga warned state lawmakers on Tuesday. That includes four years of college, four years of medical school, and three to seven years of residency and fellowship.

A new family medical residency training program in Coeur d’Alene is one step to try to help, joining other residency programs around the state; it would train six students next year. Lawmakers also are debating adding more medical school seats through a cooperative program that sends Idaho med students to the University of Washington, though Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed budget for next year doesn’t fund more seats. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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