Doctor Shortage Predicted

Oklahoma City, OK – Okla. physicians warn of doctor shortage

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma physicians are urging lawmakers to adopt legislation to attract more primary care physicians to the state.

Doctors will be at the state Capitol Thursday to urge the Legislature to pass the Oklahoma Physician Recruitment and Retention Program.

The plan would offer student loan repayment help to doctors who make a four-year commitment to practice primary care in a medically underserved community.

Physicians say Texas approved a similar plan last year and is actively recruiting doctors in Oklahoma.

The American Medical Association ranks Oklahoma last in the nation in the physician-to-patient ratio. Currently, 59 of the state's 77 counties do not meet the national standard of one physician for every 3,500 people.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.