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Idaho State News

Study Finds Idaho Ranks No. 1 When it Comes to Doctor Shortage

Samuel Stebbins | 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square

(The Center Square) – The United States has been battling a doctor shortage for a few years. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed just how big the problem is. Medical institutions have been warning that there could be a shortage of up to 124,000 primary care physicians and specialty care doctors nationwide within a decade, according to research by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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There is already a shortage in some places in the U.S., with rural areas disproportionately affected. If people living in rural communities, minorities, and those with no health insurance, had the same access to medical care as others have, the country would need an additional 180,400 doctors to meet demand. (These are the states where the most people don’t have health insurance.)

In Idaho, there are 3,504 active physicians, or 184.3 for every 100,000 people, the fewest among states.

Other than a low supply of doctors, lack of health insurance can be another barrier to accessing care. An estimated 8.8% of Idaho residents are uninsured, the 20th most among states. Meanwhile, 15.1% of adults across the state report being in less than optimal health, compared to 17.1% of adults nationwide.

Data on the percentage of adults reporting fair or poor health is from the 2022 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Data on the share of the population without health insurance came from the 2021 ACS and are one-year estimates.

RankStateDoctors per 100,000 peopleTotal number of active physiciansAdults in fair or poor health (%)Uninsured rate (%)
1Idaho184.33,50415.18.8
2Mississippi198.55,85722.011.9
3Oklahoma208.08,29321.313.8
4Wyoming211.61,22515.712.2
5Nevada214.16,73120.111.6
6Arkansas214.86,50024.19.2
7Utah215.67,19814.89.0
8Alabama217.910,98321.49.9
9Iowa221.07,05613.64.8
10Texas227.567,18220.918.0
11Georgia232.225,07219.312.6
12Kentucky233.510,52822.05.7
13Indiana233.915,91818.97.5
14Kansas234.26,87417.19.2
15South Carolina235.012,19717.810.0
16North Dakota235.61,82613.37.9
17Nebraska245.54,82013.97.1
18South Dakota247.32,21415.19.5
19New Mexico249.05,26920.010.0
20Montana249.02,75014.48.2
21Arizona252.118,34318.310.7
22Tennessee253.617,68720.310.0
23North Carolina262.127,65018.510.4
24Virginia264.722,87416.16.8
25Florida270.158,82217.812.1
26Wisconsin271.015,97515.05.4
27Louisiana271.612,55721.77.6
28West Virginia275.64,91424.36.1
29Washington280.821,73115.76.4
30Delaware284.02,85018.05.7
31Alaska286.82,10115.711.4
32California289.8113,71817.87.0
33Colorado291.716,95613.78.0
34Illinois293.037,12217.17.0
35Missouri296.618,29717.69.4
36Michigan298.930,04018.25.0
37Ohio299.935,33318.16.5
38New Jersey300.327,83215.57.2
39Minnesota308.717,61713.34.5
40Oregon309.213,12717.46.1
41Hawaii316.14,55715.33.9
42New Hampshire316.14,39114.35.1
43Pennsylvania324.442,05117.65.5
44Maine324.94,45917.25.7
45Connecticut359.912,97714.35.2
46Rhode Island370.84,06316.34.3
47Vermont373.32,41012.63.7
48New York381.975,74916.45.2
49Maryland385.923,79114.06.1
50Massachusetts459.832,11613.42.5
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