In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, it is hard to get an appointment
with a physiciana specialist, that is.
Marquette residents often wait two to three months for an appointment
with a cancer specialist, cardiologist, psychiatrist or radiologistwhich
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.