Arizona continues to face shortage in primary care physicians

Aug 22, 2018, 4:51 AM
(Pexels photo)...
(Pexels photo)
(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — There is a physician shortage in Arizona, with rural communities and primary care facilities seeing the most need.

Heidi Chumley, the executive dean at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday that this shortage was predicted years ago.

“Five years ago, the Robert Graham Center predicted that Arizona would need an additional 2,000 primary care providers by the year 2030 to meet the demand,” she said.

“That predication called for a 50 percent increase in primary care physicians — that’s how desperate the situation in Arizona was believed to be.”

Today, Arizona ranks 42nd in the active number of health care professionals per 100,000 people.

It is estimated that almost 70 percent of Arizonans live in areas that have a shortage of health care professionals.

Chumley said she strongly believes the shortage of doctors in Arizona is affecting the quality of health care Arizonans receive.

“For the past 20 years, studies have been very clear about the value of primary care attributing to patients’ overall health,” she added.

“A higher ratio of primary care professionals to population results in better health outcomes, lower all-cause mortality and longer life expectancy,” Chumley said.

But international medical schools such as the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine are aiming to play a major role in contributing to the U.S. physician workforce.

Chumley said one in four practicing physicians in the United States was trained internationally, with roughly 25 percent of Arizona’s physicians being trained internationally.

In comparison, graduates from Arizona State University and University of Arizona accounted for 746 U.S. medical school applicants last year.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona Health News

FILE - Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a cooler before being thawed at a pop-u...

Arizona reports 3,322 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths on Friday

Arizona health officials on Friday reported 3,322 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona COVID-related hospitalizations continued to inch upward

Arizona on Wednesday reported over 4,000 additional confirmed COVID-19 for the fifth time this month as virus-related hospitalizations continued to inch upward.
3 days ago
(AP Photo)...
Griselda Zetino

Health official offers Thanksgiving food preparation and safety tips

A registered dietitian and nutritionist with the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix said there are a number of steps you can take to have a safe and healthy meal this Thanksgiving.
3 days ago
(AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)...
Associated Press

Arizona hospital executives stress need for COVID-19 vaccinations as cases rise again

Hospital executives and public health authorities across Arizona pleaded Tuesday for people to get vaccinated and do everything possible to avoid spreading the coronavirus as they gird for another surge in cases that threatens once again to overwhelm the state’s health care system.
4 days ago
An employee draws up a syringe with the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus and the COVID-19 dis...

Arizona reports 120 more COVID deaths as inpatient numbers keep rising

Arizona on Tuesday had one of its largest daily COVID-19 death reports since last winter and saw the number of hospital inpatients with the coronavirus rise for the 11th consecutive day.
4 days ago
(Facebook Photo/Navajo Nation Police Department)...
Associated Press

Navajo officials urge residents to be cautious on Thanksgiving due to COVID concerns

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, the Navajo Nation is urging residents on the vast reservation to limit in-person gatherings to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
Arizona continues to face shortage in primary care physicians