Pennsylvania fares better than 42 other states in physician-patient ratio |

Pennsylvania fares better than 42 other states in physician-patient ratio

Deb Erdley

Pennsylvania might not be in such bad shape after all when it comes to the looming physician shortage.

Experts have long predicted the U.S. is on the verge of a physician shortage, predicted to worsen as the baby boom generation ages and the demand for care increases.

A recent estimate suggests the nation will see a shortfall of up to 120,000 doctors by 2030.

But a new study released Friday suggested Pennsylvania should be among the states least hard hit by the shortage. Researchers found Pennsylvania has 324.5 physicians for every 100,000 people, a ratio exceeded only by 6 other states and Washington, D.C.

Across the nation, access to physicians varies dramatically.

The study found Washington, D.C., ranked first with 866.3 doctors for every 100,000 residents, while Mississippi was last with 186.1 physicians for every 100,000 residents.

The study by the analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

It found more than half of the states already fall below the baseline of 283 physicians per 100,000 residents, the level needed to provide balanced services.

While not all areas of Pennsylvania have equal access to physicians, the new study ranked Pennsylvania 6th in the nation in a count of medical residents nearing the end of their education with 63.7 residents for every 100,000 people.

But with nearly a third of the state’s doctors now 60 or older, there’s little question there will be a need for their services.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.