A growing health problem in the United States is people who cannot get medical care because they don’t have a primary doctor for referrals. An article in the September AARP Bulletin addresses the shortage of primary care doctors and it doesn’t bode well for the future.
It doesn’t bode well for the present, either.
More and more people are finding that they may end up with a deadly condition because they could not get in to see a doctor in a timely manner. That happened to a woman in Sacramento who had a mole on her arm that was changing. She tried to see a dermatologist without the referral from a primary care doctor, but the ones she called said they couldn’t see her for three to four months. This despite the fact that she had an issue of considerable concern.
When she finally got to see a doctor seven months after discovering the mole, she was diagnosed with melanoma, which has now spread to her lungs.
And I thought it was terrible that I couldn’t get in to see a new primary care doctor for a month.
I wish the story of the woman in Sacramento was an isolated case, but unfortunately it is not. And I don’t even know what would be a good first step toward solving this problem. I just hope that it has come to the attention of someone with a better mind than mine.