Previously, we shared a blog post on the shortage of primary care doctors in the United States. This time around, we will be touching on an issue closer to home.
New Mexico is facing an issue similar to that of the rest of the country. However, the Land of Enchantment’s problem may be more severe. Of the 50 states, New Mexico doctors are the second oldest, based on average age. The state also has the highest percentage of physicians 60 years or older. With retirements looming, this means that our doctor shortage is about to get a lot worse.
In 2014, prior to the huge increase in available insurance, and an influx of new patients, every New Mexico county except for Los Alamos had a shortage of primary doctors, according to the US Federal Government. These shortages have only gotten worse. Now New Mexicans are having to wait months to see their primary care physician. Doctors are trying to fit more patients into their schedule, meaning that waiting rooms are packed and visit times are cut in half.
With such a large percentage of our doctors are nearing retirement ,soon there will be less practicing physicians in the field. This means less doctors available for medical school funding and new doctor residencies. This, coupled with the increasing New Mexico population, indicates an adverse cycle.
Despite the shortages, there are alternative ways of getting the care you need. The gaps left by doctors are being filled by equally effective nurse practitioners. At Functional Family Medicine, we are doing our part to fill that gap. We make sure that our patients can get in to see one of our experienced nurse practitioners the same day or day after they call. We take the time to understand the needs of our patients, and don’t hurry them out so as to squeeze more visits in a day. Finally, we believe that patient/provider relationships are the foundation of wellness. Our dedicated staff will do as much as we can to ensure that our patients are properly taken care of.
If you have ever asked yourself why choose Functional Family Medicine as your family’s primary care provider, we invite you to make your first appointment today, and let us put the care back in healthcare!