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The doctor is not in

Michigan State Roundup

January 1, 2001

The doctor is not in

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, it is hard to get an appointment with a physician—a specialist, that is.

Marquette residents often wait two to three months for an appointment with a cancer specialist, cardiologist, psychiatrist or radiologist—which are among the medical specialties suffering the largest shortages.

Though Marquette General Hospital has recruited 35 physicians in the past year, nearly as many positions remain unfilled. The short supply of specialists, accompanied by fierce competition from other hospitals, has lengthened the time to recruit a physician from a few months to up to two years.

In Manistique, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital discontinued its maternity service because it couldn't hire two obstetrician-gynecologists, which means many patients must drive 90 miles to Marquette for help.

The Upper Peninsula is not unusual in its physician shortage: The Michigan Recruitment and Retention network, a physician employment organization serving Ohio and Michigan, reports 450 physician vacancies in Michigan alone.

Rosie Cataldo