doctor shortage

The University of California, Riverside received some good budget news from the state Tuesday in a time when coronavirus related revenue shortfalls are requiring cuts in a lot of areas. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson has more.

Riverside Medical Clinic

A new Riverside Medical Clinic facility in Temescal Valley opened last week, providing resources to off-set region-wide medical shortages.

Administrators and doctors held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The nearly 97,000-square-foot facility has a full range of specialty services to meet the needs of a rapidly-expanding population in Riverside County.

Dr. William Suh is a cardiologist at the new clinic. He says the new facility will help attract more physicians to an area that’s sorely lacking them.

Representative Pete Aguilar today announced over $2.1 million in grant funding for Inland Empire resident physicians.

California is facing a statewide doctor shortage, but it’s especially bad in the Inland Empire.

In 2017, there were only 39 physicians per 100,000 residents in the area, far below the recommended 70 doctors per 100,000 people. 

The $2,142,792 grant announced Monday will go towards addressing that issue.

UCLA Health

As part of KVCR’s series on the Inland Empire’s doctor shortage, we explore a UCLA program that trains immigrant doctors to serve in medically under-represented areas of California. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper has the story.

You’ve probably heard the term “brain drain” - but what about “brain waste?” That’s when highly educated immigrants end up working far below their education level. Maybe it’s an engineer working in fast food, or a surgeon cleaning houses.

Benjamin Purper / KVCR

Two new schools in San Bernardino are preparing locals for future jobs in health care -- as techs, medical assistant and physicians. As part of our ongoing series on the Inland Empire’s doctor shortage, KVCR’s Benjamin Purper has the story.

At Pomona College, a group of medical students walk in procession to the music of a string quartet. This is their White Coat Ceremony, where they don the iconic symbol of the medical profession for the first time.

They take the Hippocratic Oath and begin their training as a physician.

Steve Snodgrass / Flickr

The Inland Empire’s severe doctor shortage affects all aspects of healthcare – including mental healthcare. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper explores the area’s shortage of mental healthcare professions in this report.

At the Riverside Free Clinic, patients are waiting for free mental health services. They’re provided by counseling students from the University of Redlands.

Most of the patients at the RFC are uninsured. Some are undocumented immigrants, others are transients. But Medina says the thing that’s common among them is low socio-economic status.

California's shortage of primary care doctors will likely get worse, particularly in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire.  $$55 million worth of federal and private grants for medical residencies in underserved areas is expiring.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports that a deal for the state to step in is also in jeopardy.

An Inland Empire state senator is pushing legislation that would bring together regional health care players to expand the number of physicians needed around the state, especially in the IE.  KVCR's Ken Vincent has more.