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    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    The Demographic Storm: Palm Beach, Florida, is already seeing the consequences of the aging baby boomers:

    Dramatic shortages in general surgeons, family doctors and some specialists will make finding a doctor increasingly difficult in Palm Beach County as the population grows and the number of practicing physicians shrinks, according to a survey to be released today.

    The survey by the Palm Beach County Medical Society points to the county's aging physician population and the lack of new recruits as primary factors. Doctors younger than 35 represent about 4 percent of the physician population of about 3,700; nationwide they account for 16 percent.

    .....The medical society's study estimated the number of physicians likely to retire but did not include new doctors setting up practices. While not all doctors could be tracked, Cameron said, the survey is more than 80 percent accurate. Some of its most striking results are its five-year projections:

    There will be 70 general surgeons in the county, though 208 are needed.

    Family and general-practice doctors will number 194, though 373 are needed.

    Shortages among specialists include obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and radiation oncology, which already fail to meet patient need.


    The only difference between Palm Beach County and the rest of the country is they've actually looked at the numbers.
     

    posted by Sydney on 3/28/2007 08:06:00 PM 3 comments

    3 Comments:

    Lemons to lemonade. The "problem" is caused by an elderly population and preposterous ever shrinking Medicare reimbursements. (There is of course the issue of the utterly corrupt Florida liability lawyer industry).

    However this is a potential high growth area for boutique medical practices. There is enormous wealth in Palm Beach County, enough to support truly private physician practices outside of the usual dreadful Medicare reimbursement scheme.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:43 PM  

    That probably makes finding a doctor a really time consuming experience. It's really becoming a nightmare. What do you suggest?

    By Blogger Allison Scott, at 9:48 PM  

    Maybe we'll see an increase in "concierge practices" in Florida similar to Southern California. Incidentally, a trip to Northern Mexico is quite eye-opening. Our capitalist neighbors to the south have built drugstores on every corner.

    By Blogger Lambert&Butler, at 12:03 AM  

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