Health Care reform doesn’t mean much without doctors, notes the Missoulian. As reporter Mike Dennison reported recently, Helena has seen 25 percent drop in its primary care physician work force over the last seven months with the loss of four internists and four family doctors. Missoula, too, has lost primary physicians. In fact, many patients throughout Montana now have no primary care doctor at all.
Private family doctors are being driven from their profession by financial concerns or retiring, and fewer medical students are willing to commit themselves to a career with such long hours and diminishing returns. It takes a lot of money to run a private practice, and a lot of energy to spend a day seeing patients, and then turn around and deal with insurance and liability issues.