Is Montana in the midst of a doctor shortage? A new study by Medicare Health Plans shows that Montana has fewer physicians per-capita than all but just five states.

"We looked at the total number of physicians in each state, and then we compared that to the population of each state based on Census Bureau data," Said Medicare Health Plans Community Outreach Manager Sage Singleton. "We normalized it for 1,000 people to give us a number of how many registered doctors are in the state compared to the actual population, giving us, in Montana's case, 2.2 physicians per 1,000 people."

The national average is 2.8 physicians per 1,000 people, actually the area in the U.S. with the most doctors per capita isn't even a state.

"It is actually the district of Columbia with 9.7 doctors per 1,000 people, and then Massachusetts as a state with 4.8, so we consider that the least overworked. Actually a lot of the Rocky Mountain states were in the bottom ten: Wyoming, Nevada and Utah, Montana... they all ranked in the bottom ten.

The state with the fewest doctors per capita was actually Montana's neighbor Idaho, where there are only 1.7 doctors per 1,000 people. Montana did much better when it came to the number of nurses, where we ranked in the top twenty.

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