By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
The newsfeeds are buzzing with stories related to a recent survey that suggests primary care physicians are an endangered species of medical doctor. The survey, involving some 12,000 medical physicians, showed a great number of MDs are unhappy with red tape and decreased payment for their services.
We are not talking about plastic surgeons, dermatologists, spinal specialists, cardiologists, and other specialists in the field of medicine, we’re talking about general care practitioners, also known as primary physicians.
In the survey, nearly half of those that responded said they plan to reduce the amount of patients they see or stop practicing within the next three years. Also, more than half of those surveyed said they wouldn’t recommend young people pursue careers in medicine.
Red tape and payment issues were among the top complaints of practicing primary physicians, with medical doctors reporting they feel overworked and underpaid for the services they provide. Apparently there’s lots of distress out there amongst individuals practicing the field of general medicine.
A finding I thought was fairly surprising, was that 60% of the 12,000 general practicing medical physicians surveyed, said that they would not recommend medicine as a career. I can’t say that those in the field of chiropractic wouldn’t respond the same way, especially if the chiropractic practice was focused exclusively on reimbursement from insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
According to the survey, more than 90% of medical practitioners said they devote an increased amount of time to nonclinical paperwork, than they did only three years ago. More than 60% said that the increased paperwork has meant less time spent with patients. Less time spent with patients means less time addressing concerns that bring them to the doctor in the first place. It’s a frustrating cycle for those required to do paperwork before payment is administered (that’s virtually all general medical care).
The survey suggests 76% of medical doctors are working at “full capacity” or are “overextended and overworked”. The last thing people need is going to a stressed out, overworked, and underpaid health-care provider. It’s bad enough most people aren’t in the cheeriest of moods when going to visit their health-care providers. Many medical doctors must feel like their hands are tied, since not addressing paperwork issues, basically results in nonpayment, or worse, complaints of performing inadequately.
Lots of those in the health-care profession will tell you they saw this coming many years ago. Way back in 2000, a single medical doctor was seeking a career change, and I posted some comments. The field of medicine is in no way dead, but red tape and other restraints put on practicing primary physicians is apparently making the road to success in life and practice difficult for many.
There is a hell of a long way to go before we see any noticeable change in this trend.
planetc1.com-news @ 9:54 pm | Article ID: 1227074114