How will aging doctors affect your community?

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

AHCJ member Ryan Sabalow, a reporter at the Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight, recently looked at the age of doctors in his county, finding that “nearly two thirds of Shasta County’s doctors are older than 50, and there aren’t nearly enough young doctors lining up to replace their retiring peers.”

Sabalow freely admits he’s not the first to cover the topic and acknowledges the work of Ventura County Star reporters over the summer. In a Reporting on Health blog post, Sabalow suggests that reporters contact the state medical board and request the an age range of physicians in their county.

The Association of American Medical Colleges forecast that the “passage of health care reform will increase the need for doctors and exacerbate a physician shortage driven by the rapid expansion of the number of Americans over age 65.” For a look at how many physicians are practicing in each state, as well as how many are in school, see the organization’s state-by-state statistics.

Some resources on workforce issues for AHCJ members:

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