Local Clinic Recruiting More Medical Practitioners Amid Shortage in Coachella Valley

Kamari Esquerra

“I’ve been there 4 years and this is my 4th different doctor which I think is kind of unusual.”

A local resident says he is frustrated after yet another change in health care providers.

“So I made another appointment to see my doctor, and I went in and there’s a nurse practitioner and they’re telling me ‘Well, it’s the same as a doctor’. I don’t think it is,” said a Cathedral City resident. 

The DAP health patient, who asked to remain anonymous, says he’s concerned the medical center may be experiencing a doctor shortage. But DAP Health says the organization is not shrinking, but expanding. 

“We’re not currently facing a shortage. We have continued to expand our access to healthcare in the Coachella Valley,” said Steven Henke, Director of Brand Marketing for DAP Health. 

The integrated approach medical center just recently opened two new clinics in Palm Springs and in Indio with another clinic opening soon. With more clinics comes the need for more medical professionals – something the Coachella Valley has a shortage of. 

“Historically in the Coachella Valley, recruiting healthcare providers has been a challenge,” said Henke. “It can take anywhere from 12 or more months for any healthcare organization to recruit a doctor.”

“Only about 800 physicians in the valley practice medicine 30 hours or more per week,” said Daniel Polk, Research and Evaluation Association for the Health Assessment and Research for Communities. “When we take that into effect, we see that the physician-patient ratio is much lower. It’s about 188 per 100,000 which is lower than Riverside County and California on average.” 

DAP Health says they are recruiting two new physicians and hope to fill the positions within the next three to five months. In the meantime, they will continue to provide accessible and affordable health care services to the community. 

“It is sometimes necessary to make sure that the continuum of care is uninterrupted and the only way to ensure an interrupted continuum of care is to assign a patient to a new provider,” said Henke. 

DAP Health says patients will be notified before their appointments about a provider change.

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