When it comes to having a high ratio of doctors to citizens, the State of Texas ranks near the bottom. In fact, as The Dallas Morning News reports, 43 states have a higher proportion of primary care physicians to residents than Texas.
And West Texas suffers from a lack of doctors more than other parts of the state. There are 80 counties in Texas with five or fewer practicing doctors - many in West Texas. Thirty-five Texas counties have no doctors at all.
Meanwhile, residents in rural areas are only getting older and sicker. There’s an irony here. Texas Universities churn out doctors at a high rate. The problem is, once they graduate, these new doctors move off to other states. That’s because Texas doesn’t have enough residency spots to train all these young doctors. And when new docs move away to complete their residencies, they rarely return to the Lone Star State or look for work in rural areas.