Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vermont's Doctor Shortage

It is 2025, and somewhere in rural Vermont a child gets hurt.

Big deal. Kids get hurt every day. This kid's mother drives him to the hospital emergency room or perhaps to the office of the family's own health care providers.

Either way, they walk in and are…given a number and told to sit down. It will take awhile. There aren't enough doctors.

Good thing this kid isn't so badly hurt that he needs emergency surgery. In that case, they'd have to rush him to Fletcher-Allen in Burlington or Dartmouth Hitchcock over in New Hampshire. The nearby hospital hasn't had an emergency surgeon on the staff for decades. To put it bluntly, by 2025, Vermont will not have enough doctors.