Sunday, April 08, 2012

More on Where the Doctors Are

The Wichita Bureau offers some intriguing comments on that chart of where the doctors are:
I think the stats are somewhat misleading in the map: “Office” may mean more than one doctor – and a lot of the big city specialists fly out to rural areas for monthly consults with specialized need patients. Lawrence is probably over doctored – it is one of the few places in Ks with pretty easy access and a good ER (which ends up providing a lot of medical care for the students – free).  ...  There are great swatches of the western part of the state that are practically unpopulated. Not only are there no doctors or dentists (there is no dental school here in KS) but there are NO LAWYERS. Of course much of the population in western KS is either elderly or Hispanic. And most of the health care is falling on the local hospital – if there is one. One thing the GOP hasn’t figured out here is that by paying low wages and no benefits, most of the big farm operations are pushing the health care for their often illegal employees off on their neighbors.
I wonder how they count the Mayo Clinic? It’s “one office” in Rochester – but there are something like 800 doctors (and fellows?) who see patients there. Rochester probably has more doctors per population (and more hotel beds) than any similar sized city (100K) – but there are a lot of clinics modeled on the Mayo method of seeing patients (Hint: it’s like the carwash). ...
One interesting note: when Greensburg KS got hit by the F5 tornado five years ago, it pretty well leveled the place: HS, hospital, courthouse (jail) and most of the businesses. The population dropped by 50%: the elderly residents who were living out their golden years in the tiny town took their insurance money and moved near their families. The county seat functions, the school and the hospital were rebuilt (in green tech) – and they cleared out the only tourist attraction in town, the world’s largest hand dug well. But there ain’t much left. I suspect the doctors are still there – but specialized care requires a trek to Wichita.
 World,s largest hand-dug well, bleah.  He's got a point re multiple offices.  Shasta County CA gets an A on the "doctors" chart; nearby Butte gets only a B plus. But Butte has a big medical center while Shasta is a recreation spot.  Big offices in Butte, solos in Shasta?

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