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Number of Doctors in Iowa Increases

DES MOINES, IA (AP) - A new report says the number of doctors practicing in Iowa has risen again.

The Iowa Board of Medicine report says more than 6,800 physicians worked in the state last year. That's up 2 percent from 2012 and 12 percent from 2006.   

The Des Moines Register reports that despite the increase, the state still has fewer doctors per capita than the U.S. average and faces a marked shortage in some medical specialties and rural regions. But the number of doctors has risen much faster than the state's population over the past three decades.   

The state and federal governments have programs that encourage doctors to move to rural Iowa. Rewards include assistance in repaying student loans, and, for foreign doctors, visas they can use to stay in the United States.

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