Looming retirements worry rural areas
Aging doctors

About this project

California has the nation's oldest doctor population, and in few places is it more evident than in scenic, rural Mendocino County, where more than half the physicians are 56 or older. Hospital administrators, experts and the physicians themselves worry about who is going to care for the sick and elderly -- baby boom doctors are retiring just as members of their generation are themselves heading into old age -- and the answers are not satisfying.

Stories

As doctors age, small towns face critical shortage

Ukiah, Mendocino County— Californians are getting older and so, too, are their physicians.

Dermatologist, 77, plans to practice ‘as long as I can’

Ukiah, Mendocino County — Dermatologist Richard McClintock is 77 years old, small-town and old-school to the core. The modest clapboard home that has served as his medical office since 1970 doesn’t even have a computer.

Internist, 65, says he and his patients have ‘grown old together’

Willits, Mendocino County— In the 36 years he’s been practicing medicine in the “Gateway to the Redwoods,” as this picturesque northern California town of 6,000 bills itself, internist Bruce R.

Nurses, schools help rural areas combat shortage as doctors age

Cathy Frey has few illusions when it comes to enticing newly-minted, urban-oriented physicians to live and work in rural California.

Ukiah internist, 49, an exception — ‘Nobody wants to come here’

Ukiah, Mendocino County — Dr. Michael Carnevale grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and couldn’t wait to trade the big city for the tranquillity of a life amid pine forested wilderness.

Authors

David Freed

Project Partners

© 2019 Center for Health Reporting

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