State officials worry about growing doctor shortage

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina already has a shortage of primary care and experts say the loss of a state-funded grant program to encourage young doctors to practice in rural areas is only going to make the problem worse.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Sunday that as more people get access to insurance and seek regular medical care, there are fewer doctors are practicing general medicine.

The American Academy of Family Physicians says only one in five medical school graduates go into primary care.

Hampton County, for example, has seven primary care physicians for a population of more than 22,000. Pete Tucker recruits doctors to the county and says he needs at least five more primary care doctors there. He has been unable to hire a single doctor in more than a year.

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