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Thread: Why doesn't the US train more doctors?

  1. #11
    HI! Wise Old Goat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inky View Post
    I don't know - our doctors seem to be managing quite well.

    I know that Canada does have the same problem as the U.S. however, as far as the # of doctors being trained. For a while there was a push on to accept more foreign trained doctors but they had to meet certain criteria as far as training goes, and a lot didn't make the cut. Sometimes for good reason, sometimes not.
    A big part of our problem isn't a shortage of trained doctors - it's a shortage of trained doctors who want to do family medicine in smaller more remote communities. We have a brain drain problem where they take their subsidized Canadian MD and go south where there are no limits on what they can charge for services.

    Canada offers an income tax break to people of various professions (including doctors) who are willing to work in northern communities - I wonder if the US could do something similar (or already does)?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Goat View Post
    A big part of our problem isn't a shortage of trained doctors - it's a shortage of trained doctors who want to do family medicine in smaller more remote communities. We have a brain drain problem where they take their subsidized Canadian MD and go south where there are no limits on what they can charge for services.

    Canada offers an income tax break to people of various professions (including doctors) who are willing to work in northern communities - I wonder if the US could do something similar (or already does)?
    You can get NHSC scholarships to work in underserved areas, but you still have interest on the student loans and the scholarships can take a year to apply for (I know, because I got one when I worked in Oklahoma).

    Its kind of a pain in the as ms to get and there is a list of qualifying places so limited spots.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealCranky View Post
    There's not a shortage of people applying to medical school, there's a shortage of slots to fill, and I think that's deliberate.

    Plus, it's hard to get people to go into primary care and then live in the areas that actually need primary care doctors. The local medical school offers all sorts of incentives for that, and still can't get people to go into general medicine.
    Bingo!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealCranky View Post
    There's not a shortage of people applying to medical school, there's a shortage of slots to fill, and I think that's deliberate.

    Plus, it's hard to get people to go into primary care and then live in the areas that actually need primary care doctors. The local medical school offers all sorts of incentives for that, and still can't get people to go into general medicine.
    Coz it isn't worth it. Between the student loans, liability and taxes you end up broke being a GP in rural America.

  5. #15
    Heartless Wench Alice Chalmers's Avatar
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    I make more than many primary care physicians. And school didn't cost me $200k. Also, I work fewer hours and when I pick up extra I make overtime.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiftOfFlavor View Post
    Coz it isn't worth it. Between the student loans, liability and taxes you end up broke being a GP in rural America.
    Obamacare didn't fix that?

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    Coz it isn't worth it. Between the student loans, liability and taxes you end up broke being a GP in rural America.
    Rural America has a much lower cost of living than a lot of other places.
    I live in rural Oklahoma. My PCP is from Canada, and the other doctor who works in his practice is from Spain, my GYN is from South Africa, and one of my best friends, a pediatrician, came here from Houston. She was looking for a slower pace of life to raise her children. Her son and my son are best friends, her husband is their scout leader, and they are both very involved in the community.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeniereenie View Post
    Rural America has a much lower cost of living than a lot of other places.
    I live in rural Oklahoma. My PCP is from Canada, and the other doctor who works in his practice is from Spain, my GYN is from South Africa, and one of my best friends, a pediatrician, came here from Houston. She was looking for a slower pace of life to raise her children. Her son and my son are best friends, her husband is their scout leader, and they are both very involved in the community.
    I lived/worked as a GP dentist in rural Oklahoma. I was on salary and received a NHSC scholarship. Even with all that my student loans were kiling me. Couldn't save at all. Couldn't sustain it.

  9. #19
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    Why are There So Few Doctors in Rural America?

    After eight grueling years of school and with hundreds of thousands in student loan debt, many doctors are reluctant to give up a city's creature comforts for a more hardscrabble existence.
    Sorry, deeniereenie, your doctor is likely more the exception than the rule. GoF outlined some of the challenges.

  10. #20
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    Also, lower cost of living doesn't apply to student loans. The problem with trying to work geographic arbitrage is that if you have some costs which are fixed regardless of location, lower COL doesn't really work out. Your pay is 30% less, your rent and groceries are 35% less, but your student loan payment is 100% the same, and now you have to come up with that amount from a 30% lower salary.

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