Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Medicus Firm survey in the NEJM: Health Reform May Lead to Significant Reduction in Physician Workforce

The Medicus Firm recently conducted a survey titled, "Physician Survey: Health Reform’s Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care." The results were published on the NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) here, but then it appears that the NEJM removed the information and placed a link to the Medicus Firm and emphasized:
The opinions expressed in the article linked to above represent those of The Medicus Firm only. That article does not represent the opinions of the New England Journal of Medicine or the Massachusetts Medical Society.
So, let's take a look at the survey conducted by the Medicus Firm. They state: "Health Reform May Lead to Significant Reduction in Physician Workforce."

Here are some relevant snippets from the survey report:
  • Nearly one-third of physicians responding to the survey indicated that they will want to leave medical practice after health reform is implemented.
  • “What many people may not realize is that health reform could impact physician supply in such a way that the quality of health care could suffer,” said Steve Marsh, managing partner at The Medicus Firm in Dallas. “The reality is that there may not be enough doctors to provide quality medical care to the millions of newly insured patients.”
  • Based on the survey results, health reform could, over time, prove to be counterproductive, in that it could decrease patients’ access to medical care while the objective is to improve access.
  • Doctors want change, but only 28.7 percent of physicians responded in favor of a public option as part of health reform.
  • An overwhelming 63 percent of physicians prefer a more gradual, targeted approach to health reform, as opposed to one sweeping overhaul. 
We need to encourage physicians to stay in medicine and to care for all these people who need medical care. If all our doctors left clinical medicine to pursue non-clinical careers, who's going to take care of us? Some physicians may be tempted to switch to a cash practice or a concierge model. How will that help all those patients who will gain access to the public option?

To read the Medicus Firm report about the physician survey titled, "Physician Survey: Health Reform’s Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care," click here.


  1. Very true, we hope to help as many primary care docs as possible transition into high tech high touch cash house call practice. Primary care needs to implement strategies of Lean business and customer development and start thinking of patients as customers.

    Our relationships with third party payors have ruined our businesses, and we have sat by on the sidelines and let it happen. It's time for providers to realize that WE provide the services. WE provide " coverage".

    Natalie Hodge MD FAAP

  2. I absolutely concur. Without physicians there is NO healthcare!