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Letters: Doctor Shortage, Studying Abroad


It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments.

Our conversation about the growing shortage of primary care physicians and some of the reasons behind the shortage sent many of you to your keyboards, including Nancy Hoyman(ph) in Denver, Colorado, who wrote: I'm a middle-age geriatrician who quit primary care last year because I lost $5,000 a year for the past five years. I now work in a nursing home, which is nice, but I have to see 15 to 20 patients a day to make it, which is hard in geriatrics where there are complicated patients. It seems patients are getting more difficult than ever also, expecting more and wanting things done immediately. I can't wait to be able to retire.

And from Mary McMillan(ph), a clinical hospital pharmacist in Hawaii, we heard this: Better than good primary care can be delivered by a nurse practitioner. The training that nurse practitioners have now is better than what was delivered in medical schools 25 years ago. The average American adult and child has medical problems such as high blood pressure, allergies, high cholesterol that will be better managed by a nurse/pharmacist team than a physician, whose education will better used as a specialist.

We spoke to a reporter, Amy O'Leary, about her story on sexual harassment of women in online gaming and heard from many of you that this practice is widespread.

Michael Kemp(ph) in Charlotte, North Carolina, wrote: I believe the experience of women in gaming is just a symptom of a greater problem. Any woman trying to join an automobile forum where individuals like vehicles come together, will find a similarly offensive environment.

But Arielle(ph), who didn't give a last name, sent this email: While there are definitely inappropriate and hurtful people out there, I think you are somewhat overstating the situation. Even when you encounter somebody being a jerk, the most important rules are these: Don't feed the trolls and have fun. If you aren't having fun, then log off.

And finally, Susan Nielsen(ph) in Valdez, Alaska, shared this memory of her study abroad in Oxford, England. I fully immersed myself the year I was there. I worked 20 hours a week with a student visa, paid the whole way myself. My family's not wealthy, yet I had this incredible opportunity, and I took full advantage of it. I'm still close with several of my British friends there and also had the privilege to attend Oxford University. No regrets at all.

If you have a correction, comments or questions for us, the best way to reach us is by email. Our address is Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. And if you're on Twitter, you can follow us there @totn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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