Many Americans don’t have a primary care doctor

Doctor
Many Americans report they don't have a primary care doctor.

Some 28% of U.S. men and 17% of women don’t have a personal doctor or healthcare provider, according to a government survey.

The problem is worse among minorities, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation of data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2013-2015 survey results. For instance, almost half of Hispanic men (47%) report they don’t have a primary care physician.

The data is based on a randomly dialed telephone survey of adults age 18 and older. The report provides a breakdown by state and by race/ethnicity. Here are some highlights of the report:

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Among men, 23% of whites say they don’t have a personal doctor, a number that jumps to 31% of blacks, 47% of Hispanics, 30% of Asians, native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders and 36% of American Indians or Alaskan natives.

Among women, 13% of whites say they don’t have a personal doctor, which increases to 18% of blacks, 33% of Hispanics, 21% of Asians, native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders and 25% of American Indians or Alaska natives.

The survey also found that 17% of U.S. women did not see a doctor in the past year because of cost and 19% reported fair or poor health status. States with the highest number of women without primary care doctors were Nevada and Texas, where 28% of women said they did not have a personal doctor.

The states with the highest number of men without primary care doctors were Alaska (42%) and Nevada (41%). Some 17% of men reported fair or poor health status.

The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates the U.S. could lose as many as 100,000 doctors by 2025 and primary care physicians are already in short supply, particularly in rural areas.

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