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Floridians lack access to physicians compared to other states

Providing medical care is serious business. Medical professionals are often left with the success of one's health in their hands. An attentive, thorough, knowledgeable and skilled doctor may be able to diagnose a condition and treat it effectively, minimizing the effects of a serious injury or medical condition and perhaps saving a patient's life. However, adequately treating a patient requires time, and according to new reports, Florida's doctors may be strapped for time thanks to a doctor shortage.

According to a new study, Florida ranks a paltry 41st when it comes to access to physicians. This is not a good sign considering some experts expect the nation to see a shortage of 90,000 doctors by 2025. Some suggest incentives may be able to help states retain physicians and break barriers to patient access, such as utilizing telehealth. While this may be true, it does very little for those who suffer serious harm because their doctor is overworked.

When medical professionals are overworked and fatigued, a medical condition may go unnoticed. Symptoms of a serious condition may be misconstrued as something innocuous. In these instances, a patient can wind up with a worsened medical condition, decreased chance of survival and losses in the form of medical expenses and lost wages that can only expound upon their pain and suffering.

No matter how tired an overworked medical professional is, they still owe their patients a minimal standard of care. When this standard is breached and injuries result, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed and may bring the victim much needed monetary awards. This compensation can then be used to cover damages and hopefully put the victim on the road to recovery.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Florida ranks 41st in access to physicians," Naseem S. Miller, Nov. 11, 2015

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