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Why a shortage?

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- Most rural areas of the United States have fewer physicians per capita than urban or suburban areas, leading some experts to believe that physician shortages are due more to distribution than to actual numbers. According to a 2007 survey by the Minnesota Department of Health, 12.6 percent of Minnesotans lived in rural counties served by only 8.3 percent of the state's physicians who practiced in a rural county. Rural physicians also were more likely to be older.

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