Trae Hanan, 7, feels the baby in his mom Krista Hanan’s belly during her appointment with Dr. Rob Epstein, of Family Medicine of Port Angeles. “If you're not a kid or not pregnant, there are pretty much no physicians taking patients,” Epstein says of the provider shortage in his area.
As more people get health-insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act, the doctor shortage in rural areas is worsening. In Port Angeles, for example, a local clinic is turning away 250 callers a week.