More Georgia doctors limit Medicare as senior population swells

Georgia is on the verge of a critical shortage of doctors. Health care experts say this shortage may soon make it difficult to see a doctor on your timeline. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is examining reasons for the shortage and how it will transform the way Georgians get medical care.

When Joan Murphy turned 65 this year and joined Medicare, she found out that some doctors didn’t love her as much as they used to.

An orthopedic specialist she had been referred to for a back problem sent her elsewhere: He doesn’t take Medicare. That already had her worried when she recently called her gynecologist and was turned down for an appointment when she revealed she was now on Medicare.

“It’s a very frightening situation,” said Murphy, a Clayton County resident who is retired.

At a time when 10,000 baby boomers are aging into Medicare every day, the federal health plan for the elderly and disabled is no longer attractive to many doctors. That has made finding a physician a headache for some seniors.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution examination found that the problem may be worse than government surveys show. Subscribers can read our full report in today's newspaper or logging on to the paper's iPad app. Subscribe today.

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