The advisor to the president of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, the region’s newest medical school, says the much-publicized “doctor shortage” is actually more of an uneven placement of doctors than an actual shortage.
Dr. Robert Sutton, phD, says the need for primary care physicians is greater in rural areas than in cities. He says the school’s mission is to train students who live out in the country and want to return there as primary care doctors.
The school’s first class, in 2008, was seventy students. Now, they’ve expanded to 135. Sutton says they’re not prepared to take any more .
He says a big problem is the need for more residency programs in the Northwest, where more doctors can be trained. Sutton says part of what the public often doesn’t understand is– it’s not simply a matter of training more doctors.
Photo: courtesy of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences