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How old are your county's doctors?

How old are your county's doctors?

Picture of Ryan Sabalow

Here's a story that any health reporter in any county in California could easily localize.

California's doctors are a rapidly aging bunch, and Shasta County's physicians are no exception.

This Sunday in the Record Searchlight, we revealed that nearly two thirds of Shasta County's doctors are older than 50, and there aren't nearly enough young doctors lining up to replace their retiring peers.

The story raises some questions about whether there will be enough doctors to treat the upcoming wave of aging Baby Boomers and currently uninsured patients who will be covered in 2014 by new healthcare reform laws.

Reporters looking to localize this story should first get in contact with the Medical Board of California. Ask for an age range of physicians in their county.

When I asked the Medical Board of California for the ranges, they had their data crunchers get it for me in a matter of days. I expected a public records fight, but they were quite accommodating.

I'm hardly the first reporter to tackle the topic.

To give credit where it's due, I borrowed heavily from my colleagues at the Record Searchlight's sister paper, The Ventura County Star, which published a similar story this summer.

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