California’s doctors: Aging, white and specialized

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

In California Watch’s blog, Joanna Lin breaks down the California HealthCare Foundation’s latest report on the state’s physician supply. Nationwide, a quarter of physicians are over sixty. In California, which leads the nation in doctors nearing retirement, that number is 29 percent. In addition to aging, the state is also faced with particular ethnic disparities among caregivers.

… Latinos represent 37 percent of the state’s population, but 5 percent of its doctors. The disparity is even greater in the Central Coast, Inland Empire and San Joaquin Valley regions, and most severe in Los Angeles County, where 47 percent of the population and only 5 percent of doctors are Latino. Statewide, 18 percent of doctors speak Spanish.

While California led the nation in retention of graduating state medical students, a “substantial proportion” of California doctors come from other states and countries, Lin writes. That number may shrink as the UC system plans to add two more medical schools in the next five years, budget willing. For more specifics, take a look at the report itself. It’s loaded with easy-to-understand summary statistics and beautiful charts and graphs.

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