The 2007 Physician Workforce Study produced by the Massachusetts Medical Society, or MMS, reports a "severe" shortage of family physicians in that state for the second year in a row. Remember, this is in a state that recently mandated health insurance coverage.
"Among the new specialties showing strain are family practice and internal medicine, two of the most important to providing adequate preventive care and minimizing the use of emergency departments," says the report's executive summary (31-page PDF). "Newly insured (Massachusetts) residents may find it difficult to get timely appointments with physicians due to these shortages."
The MMS report points out that statewide shortages in "(n)ew specialties, such as family practice and internal medicine, have now emerged as severe and critical, respectively, for the second year in a row, underscoring the warning from primary care physicians in Massachusetts and the nation that a workforce shortage is imminent."