Doctors deserve our appreciation; we deserve more doctors

We hope our readers enjoyed the Doctors’ Day special section published in The Outlook Thursday. Our staff worked hard to present the stories of these dedicated healthcare professionals. This newspaper wrote about a wide range of doctors — from those who successfully treat wounds in a hyperbaric chamber to the struggles of rural doctors to […]

We hope our readers enjoyed the Doctors’ Day special section published in The Outlook Thursday. Our staff worked hard to present the stories of these dedicated healthcare professionals.

This newspaper wrote about a wide range of doctors — from those who successfully treat wounds in a hyperbaric chamber to the struggles of rural doctors to provide quality care to veterinarians who love caring for animals to those who bring life into the world and those who deal with life-and-death cases in the emergency room.

Two of our staff members, Lizi Arbogast and Santana Wood, shared their personal stories in hopes of inspiring others to get the care they need.

Gone are the days when doctors were usually the linchpin of small communities. These days, specialists abound and so does the red tape they get tangled in.

But the doctors profiled in the special section genuinely care about their patients. They have devoted years of intensive study to make a difference and in many cases sacrifice family time to provide the best care they can.

Joining the medical profession is a life-changing decision and many who start the lengthy training don’t finish. In an increasingly complex profession, doctors are in short supply nationwide, especially in rural areas.

According to a story last August in U.S. News and World Report, 85 million people lack adequate primary care nationwide. Of those areas, according to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, nearly 60 percent were in rural regions and the nation needs 4,022 rural doctors to close the gap. The magazine also reported 20 percent of the nation’s population is rural, where residents tend to be older and less well insured.

While we should be thankful for the local doctors who take care of us, we should encourage government and healthcare organizations to make sure the underserved become the well served.