A shortage of primary-care doctors endangers United States residents in general and New Jerseyans in particular, according to a report co-authored by Alfred Tallia, chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“Anyone who has tried to schedule a nonemergency visit understands the problem,” said Tallia, one of 16 experts who contributed to the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute‘s report. “Existing patients often wait months; others struggle to find a doctor who’s even taking new patients. Lots of people get no care until small problems grow into emergencies.”

“Most of this problem stems from money,” added Tallia. “Primary-care doctors make way less than specialists across the U.S., so we have too few primary-care doctors relative to the number of specialists. Primary-care doctors make even less in New Jersey than in other states, so the ones we train here tend to move elsewhere, and the shortage is worse in New Jersey than in other states.”  To read the full story.