Missouri is facing a shortage of primary care doctors, and the strain could grow as more people soon gain health insurance under the federal health care law.
The state had just under 74 active patient care primary care doctors per 100,000 residents, according to 2010 figures from the Association of American Medical Colleges. That ranked Missouri 35th in the nation and put it behind the national per capita average of more than 79 active primary care doctors per 100,000 residents.
The challenge of access to primary care doctors could grow as the federal health care law fully comes into effect on Jan. 1.
The law will require most Americans to obtain health insurance and provide subsidies to some. The Missouri Foundation for Health estimated that roughly an additional 350,000 Missourians could end up with insurance.