Friday dose of healthcare news, east to west, left to right…

Doc shortage

It’s not just that when the healthcare reform legislation kicks in, there will be a shortage of primary care docs (by as many as 150,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges), and an influx of new patients. Oregonian columnist David Sarasohn brings up an interesting angle: what about the baby boomer doctors?

“The piece I don’t think is addressed to any level is how you produce more doctors,” says Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., a strong supporter of the bill. “We don’t have enough doctors. There are too many baby boomer doctors retiring, and too many baby boomers needing more care.”

    Everything, of course, is always blamed on baby boomers. But by some estimates, as many as 300,000 boomer doctors may be planning to hang up their stethoscopes in the next decade, just as a wave of new patients are expected to arrive in the system. The gap will be particularly wide in family care; the number of medical school students going into that area dropped by a quarter from 2002 to 2007.

Hospitals talk health reform

At least in Lubbock, Texas. The region’s largest hospital, medium, small and rural hospitals heard the Texas Hospital Association’s take on reform and shared their concerns with the bill in a town hall setting.

Students gain from new legislation

A college student’s take on the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act and what it means for student loans.

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