After a survey came out disclosing the frustration of primary care doctors who suffer in their job, the American College of Physicians (ACP) followed with a paper culled from more than 100 studies from the last 2 decades.
The report details the need for more primary care physicians whose number is dwindling. They are needed to improve healthcare and lower the cost of treatment.
If primary care physicians in a metropolitan area are increased by 15 %, researchers on health care utilization believe there will be beneficial cuts in the following services: emergency room 10.9%, surgeries 7.2%, inpatient admission 5.5% and out patient visits 5%.
In the last 10 years, US medical graduates entering family medicine and internal medicine have decreased to half its number. Many young doctors prefer high-paying specialties with less demand for time to see patients.
The developing doctor shortage crisis is a result of extended hours, low pay for primary care, and paperwork hassles associated with medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers. Sixty percent (60%) of surveyed MDs won’t recommend their profession. —American Medical News (12/08/08, O’ Reilly, Hedger, B)
The situation is best characterized by Ted Epperly, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) when he said, “What remains unclear is how politicians’ promises to rescue primary care will play out in a likely fierce battle over health system reform. But raising awareness of the crisis is the start of finding a solution…. This won’t be turned around overnight. It will take a decade to get out from under this.“
A decade! That’s 10 years. 3,650 days!
A decade to correct the problem is incredibility long in the face of increasing health needs of Americans and rising cost of medical care. Obama has been served the notice. =0=