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Byline: Sarah Jane Tribble
Oct. 24--Dr. Derek Johnson laughs self-consciously as he walks through his spacious new office near downtown Brentwood.
The 13 exam rooms are built for four physicians, but for now Johnson has them all to himself and two staff members. He uses only three of the exam rooms.
"We need to get more doctors, there's no question," he said, suddenly serious. He averages five new patients a day.
In fast-growing East Contra Costa County, where community leaders expect the population to increase more than 30 percent in the next 25 years, residents often find there are not enough family-care doctors to go around. Securing a specialist can be even more difficult.
Still, the largely educated, middle-class residents filling subdivisions in the area are just the patients health care providers are aching to serve at a time when insurance company and government reimbursements are being slashed.
The area's three big medical …