Starting A New Medical Practice in Western Massachusetts is Difficult
A new study has found that most difficult doctor-labor market in Massachusetts is in Berkshire County, where “78 percent of respondents said the pool of available doctors is too small, 47 percent said it is difficult to retain staff and and 43 percent said it is difficult to fill vacancies.”
A majority of Western Massachusetts residents rely on public health insurance and with the average student debt load for a doctor at $175,000, reimbursements are too low to attract new doctors.
The process of getting a Massachusetts medical license is also a factor.
“The days of just hanging out your shingle in Pittsfield are over,” Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. Ronald W. Dunlap said. “It’s just hard to make that work today.”
According to Dr. Alan Inglis, who also maintains a practice in Pittsfield, “Some patients have no idea what it means to bootstrap a new solo practice theses days here…or anywhere.”