3 Ways to Deal With the Doctor Shortage

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 10:00 AM

By Chauncey Crandall, M.D.

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There is a doctor shortage coming that will cut across all specialties, including my field of cardiology.

In fact, 43 percent of the nation’s cardiologists are currently over the age of 55. As they retire, there are simply not enough doctors and medical students coming up the ranks to replace them, especially with the nation’s rapidly aging population.

There are some things you can do to deal with the impending shortage and continue to get the care you need:

• Don’t wait until you get sick to find a new doctor. Find one immediately. Asking a trusted friend for a recommendation is still the best way.

• If your insurance company forces you to change doctors, ask your doctor if another physician within the same practice takes your insurance, or if he or she can give a referral.

• Choose a doctor from a large academic medical center where there is still a large pool of staff to provide the doctor’s office with support.

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