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Health Overhaul Likely to Strain Doctor Shortage

Primary care physicians already are in short supply in parts of the U.S., and the landmark health overhaul that will bring them millions more newly insured patients in the next few years promises extra strain.

Recently published reports predict a shortfall of roughly 40,000 primary care doctors over the next decade, a field losing out to the better pay, better hours and higher profile of many other specialties.  65 million people currently live in areas designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians.

Some provisions in the new law do aim to start reversing that tide, from bonus payments to expanded community health centers.

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