How Louisiana is making its physician shortage worse

Louisiana's budget troubles could have a lasting negative impact on the state's ranks of physicians, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The state faces an overwhelming primary care shortage — 81 percent of the state is a federally designated health professional shortage area for primary care, according to the report. It also is one of the least healthy states in the country in terms of cancer, obesity and diabetes, according to the report.

Its legislators are now left grappling with a $600 million budget shortfall that puts Louisiana State University health sciences centers in Shreveport and New Orleans at risk, as well as funding for many safety net hospitals which train many medical students, according to the report. This means the state could lose some of its 1,900 residency slots — or have trouble filling them. Many medical students and physicians are looking at the state's challenges and choosing to train elsewhere, in states with more dependable budgets, according to the report.

Read the full story here.

 

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