Even Larger Cities Seeing Shortages in Doctors
Byline: Shannon Pettypiece Bloomberg
Mary Berg is paying the price for a shortage of U.S. doctors that by most accounts is about to get much worse.
After finding out in 2006 she had a rare and deadly gastrointestinal cancer, the 49-year-old mother of a teenage daughter found there were no doctors in Nevada who specialized in her type of tumor. Only one cancer center took her insurance. And because the tumor had spread, the need for a liver transplant was a distinct possibility, though no surgeons in the state were qualified to do the procedure.
Frustrated by years of not being able to get proper care, Berg and her husband decided this summer to walk away from their home near Las Vegas, which she says has since gone into foreclosure. They moved their family 300 miles away to Phoenix where she could be close to a specialist and a transplant center. Now, Berg has a team of doctors and nurses focused on her care.
"I get so emotional over it," said Berg, her voice breaking and her eyes filling with tears as she sits in the living room of her new home, recalling the decision to leave Las Vegas. "We left a lot of friends. We left our house. We left our life."
In the Las Vegas area, with about 2 million people, patients and doctors said it can take six months to see a primary-care doctor for a simple checkup. For more serious matters, the waits are far longer than a year, for example, to get an appointment with a neurologist who specializes in autism.
Once a problem limited to rural areas, the doctor shortage is now hitting large population centers such as …
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Publication information: Article title: Even Larger Cities Seeing Shortages in Doctors. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL). Publication date: December 31, 2012. Page number: 2. © 2009 Paddock Publications. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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