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Concerns growing over doctor shortage in Texas

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Posted at 6:17 PM, Feb 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 19:17:22-05

TEMPLE, Texas — There is an ongoing doctor shortage in Texas, as well as across the nation.

25 News spoke to a physician at Baylor College of Medicine in Temple who says the reason is the growing population in the state.

Katy Long is a medical student, and she is well aware of the physician shortage in Texas and across the nation.

“I think why we’re in shortage it’s a two-fold — one is there is a general trend going away from primary care," Long said.

She also thinks the cost of medical school is one reason.

“The cost isn’t cheap.”
The need for doctors is growing — especially in rural communites, and for primary physicians.

“That’s why I choose family medicine because I can see babies, pregnant mothers, and grandparents," Long said.

25 News talked to Dr. Christian Cable with Baylor College of Medicine in Temple.

He says the shortage in Texas is a problem.

"Texas is growing faster even than the planning for physicians and that’s what we’re trying to solve," Dr. Cable said.

He says Texas only has 200 physicians for every 100,000 people compared to 250 doctors for every 100,000 across the nation.

To combat that, Baylor Scott and White tries to keep medical school students in the state for residency so they’ll stay in Texas and practice.

He says they’re still seeing people interested in the field — Baylor had 5,000 applicants last year and he encourages people to choose the field.

"I encourage it — I still want to be a doctor when I grow up," he said.

"It’s a great way to help people — it’s a big team."

Katy Long has a passion to reduce the shortage and prevail.

"That would mean my work and medical school and other doctors and nurses and assistants — we are actually making progress and change," Long said.