Wednesday, December 15, 2010

40% of physicians to leave clinical medicine?

Here's are a few snippets from a recent Healthcare Finance News story:

The Physicians Foundation, based in Boston, released the results of a survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins, a national physician search and consulting firm, which indicates growing dissatisfaction among doctors as they struggled with less time for patient care and increased time dealing with non-clinical paperwork, difficulty receiving reimbursement and burdensome government regulations.

According to the survey, healthcare reform could intensify existing problems for doctors and worsen the shortage of primary care doctors, making it more difficult for patients to access quality care.
  • 40 percent of physicians said they would drop out of patient care in the next one to three years, either by retiring, seeking a non-clinical job within healthcare or seeking a job out of healthcare.
What will happen to the health care system if 40% of physicians leave clinical medicine to pursue non-clinical opportunities? I think that many physicians are hoping that the health care system will change, but the current reform law has too many gaps and holes. I suppose that's what can happen if we rush through some major changes and try to fix a huge burden like the health care crisis.

I know that many current physicians are actively exploring non-clinical career opportunities as they anticipate major changes in reimbursement and patient volume. Others are cautiously optimistic that reform changes will occur slowly and systematically to account for all the stakeholders affected by the health care industry. Let's see what happens in 2011.

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