In a new policy brief which explores the shortage of medical providers in the State of New Mexico, the Rio Grande Foundation digs into an analysis of which areas of medical practice face the most acute shortages and compares New Mexico counties, New Mexico with its neighbors, and also looks at geographical trends regarding the availability of medical providers nationwide.
Forming part one of a two part series on the topic, the document titled, “The Existence and Extent of a Medical Provider Shortage in New Mexico” is an attempt to gain a foothold when it comes to the statistics behind the medical provider shortage.
Among the findings:
- New Mexico is not alone in the Southwest in having a relative shortage of medical professionals. Compared to the Northeast and Midwest, there is already a shortage of healthcare workers in states in the South and West. Interestingly, the region where doctors are paid the least in nation is the Southwest, where many older adults who require healthcare services choose to retire.
- Physicians in the north central part of the nation average pay of $319,000 per year. In the southeast, however, physician salaries are more than $40,000 a year less, running at around $277,000 a year. New Mexico’s average physician salary was even less, ranking third from the bottom of lowest-earning states with an average annual physician compensation rate of $261,000.
Our research does indicate that New Mexico has a serious shortage of health care workers in a variety of medical fields. These especially include primary care physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, OB-GYN’s, pharmacists and EMT’s. Fortunately, the state currently appears to have an adequate number of physician assistants, dentists, and nurse practitioners.
In a follow-up report Rio Grande Foundation will provide specific ideas on how policymakers, especially those here in New Mexico, can address the State’s medical provider shortage.