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Affordable region

David Bennett of Rebound Northwest Surgical Specialists spoke about the benefits of the area, including Portland and Vancouver is being attractive for doctors looking at the West Coast because it is much more affordable than San Francisco or Southern California. Hal Dengerink, chancellor at WSUV, added there are likely other areas in the state that are in worse shape in terms of their health care work forces.

Several panelists asked that Murray report back after her roundtable meetings in other communities to see how the responses compared to what was offered up Monday in Vancouver.

One obstacle for any area might be the bureaucratic aspect of the jobs themselves.

Rodriguez said the accreditation process required by insurance companies, dealing with Medicare and all the paperwork in general has changed a lot of doctors' passion for the profession.

In addition, many look enviously at people with normal work schedules.

"The sheer joy of being a physician is not gone, but it's quite different from what it used to be," he said.



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