Thursday, April 16, 2009

Primary Care Physician Shortage is Imminent

According to a survey of 270,000 primary care physicians, 49% stated they plan to retire or reduce their patient loads over the next three years. Reasons include declining reimbursements with increased costs and debt load, demands on physician time and increased paperwork. Only 17% reported that their practices were “healthy and profitable” and 45% said they would retire immediately if they had the financial means to do so. This comes at a time when baby boomers are requiring more medical care. It is crucial that the Obama administration and Congress work together to solve the health care crisis. Family physicians are pushing hard for Medical Homes to be established, which would improve care and increase reimbursement for preventive medicine. In my experience, physicians in Integrative Medicine have a much higher job satisfaction, perhaps because they are not dealing with drugs and surgery all day.

See Family Practice News(click here) December 15 issue, p. 33 and International College of Integrative Medicine (click here)

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