Millions live in designated medical shortage areas

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 14, 2011

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

An estimated 66.8 million Americans live in areas that don't have enough primary care physicians or other primary care health professionals to meet their needs, according to the latest statistics from the Health Resources and Services Administration (link).

As of Oct. 19, there were 6,422 designated Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas nationwide. It would take an estimated 17,803 health professionals to meet needs in those areas, with a ratio of 2,000 patients for each primary care professional.

The designations take into account several factors, such as population, local medical facilities, physician-to-patient ratios, barriers to care and the availability of medical services in contiguous communities.

Other HRSA statistics show that 52.5 million people live in 4,677 designated shortage areas for dental care, and 95.3 million people live in 3,803 designated shortage areas for mental health care.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn