Arizona facing shortage of doctors; many residents who train here don't stay

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PHOENIX -- Arizona is having a hard time keeping the doctors who train at its hospitals.

More than one-third to nearly half of the residents who train here will likely leave Arizona to practice medicine somewhere else. The state has been trying to improve retention rates, but so far it hasn't been working all that well.

In 2005, Arizona State University's Center for Health Information took a look at that state's doctor-to-population ratio and found it to be "far below" the national average.

While that gap has closed slightly over the past few years, researchers say Arizona is still facing a serious shortage of doctors.

Researchers estimate the 2010 national average is 299 doctors for every 100,000 people. Here in Arizona, that ratio is 213 per 100,000. That's up from the 2004 ratio of 207 per 100,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.