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Md. lawmakers warn of physician shortages

Maryland is suffering a shortage of primary care doctors who cannot support an influx of patients that new federal health care mandates are expected to trigger, according to lawmakers. "We don't have enough primary care providers and our medical schools aren't producing enough," said Sen. Delores Kelley, D-Baltimore County, at a Tuesday meeting of the state's health care committee.

Kelley said she gave up trying to get a flu shot with her doctor this year "because it would take me five months." She said she turned to a pharmacy for the shot instead.

Roughly 15,000 doctors are practicing in Maryland, which has about 24,000 medical licenses available, according to Jay Schwartz, lobbyist for the Maryland State Medical Society, the doctors' trade group.

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