Maine Compass: Group of doctors say taxes aren’t factor in whether they stay in Maine

This month, our class became the fifth to graduate from Tufts University’s School of Medicine and Maine Medical Center’s Maine Track Program. The program was developed out of a growing need to recruit doctors to practice primary care in rural Maine. Over the course of our four years, we got the chance to learn and practice alongside some of Maine’s most talented and committed physicians in places like Portland, Skowhegan, Norway, Farmington, Bar Harbor, Damariscotta and Lewiston.

We couldn’t have asked for a better experience in learning the ropes of medicine. We are proud to report that a full third of our class chose to stay in Maine for their residency. Of the rest, many hope and plan to return to Maine when they’ve completed their training.

As we plan our future, we’re faced with deciding where we will practice as doctors. Here’s a short list of factors that are important to us: choosing places where we can have the biggest impact, given our specialties and populations we wish to serve; the communities we hope to settle down in, including and especially their school systems; and proximity to family, as many of us are originally from Maine.

Here’s what hasn’t risen to the top of our list of concerns: contributing an extra 3 percent of any taxable income over $200,000 to ensure that Maine has the resources to fully fund our public schools.

It’s perplexing and frustrating to see doctors being tossed around as political football in the debate over Maine’s biennial budget this year. We’ve heard Gov. Paul LePage say time and time again that droves of doctors are going to leave our state because of Question 2, which was passed by voters last November to ensure steady funding for public education in Maine.

It’s perplexing because as far as we know, doctors are highly supportive of public education. We, the undersigned, were proud to support Question 2. It’s frustrating because we are going into the medical profession to help people, and…

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