States retaining more physicians

Even though the looming doctor shortage may not be as bad as people feared, healthcare organizations in California can rest even easier knowing the state had the highest physician retention for 2010, according to a new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  

After earning their undergraduate medical education in California, 67.5 percent of medical and osteopathic students stayed in the state to practice.

For all states, the median retention from undergraduate medical education grew by 2 percentage points and retention from graduate medical education rose by almost a half a percentage point, according to the report.

California also can boast it has the highest number of active physicians (92,488) in the country, according to recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. As of November, 43,801 primary care physicians and 48,687 specialist physicians work throughout the state.

The AAMC report also found that more than a quarter of the nation's active physicians are more than than 60 years old, reinforcing recent claims that older physicians with more experience may be an untapped solution to meet the growing demand for healthcare providers.

To keep physicians in-state, healthcare organizations could try offering multi-year physicians contracts, flexible scheduling or mentoring programs.

For more information:
- here's the AAMC report (.pdf)
- check out the Kaiser State Health Facts

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