In this Dec. 17, 2020, file photo, a medical worker passes a medical tent outside the emergency room at UCI Medical Center in Irvine, California. Credit: Ashley Landis / AP

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Has anyone ever had a medical problem where they needed to be seen at a doctor’s office and were asked at check-in: “Are you a patient here? Who’s your primary doctor?” They wanted an educated or professional opinion from a doctor. Of course, the answer was no! If they decide to wait for their turn, if they can be added to their patient list, the wait to be seen could be two, three, maybe six months! Hah!

The scarcity of doctors in northeastern Maine is upsetting. Penobscot, Hancock and Washington counties suffer with the lack of skilled medical coverage, and severe maladies may never be diagnosed.

Nurse practitioners are supplemented to complement the physicians’ diagnostic team. Keep in mind, they are not doctors!

The problem here is snowballing: Doctors are leaving, nurses are leaving and skilled medical staffing is lacking!

The resolution here is a mystery. For sure, patients are being penalized — their medical future.

Ronald Ferri