Each year, physicians in America conduct over 1.2 billion patient visits, treating illnesses ranging from the minor to the life-threatening.
With A Survey of America’s Physicians, the Physicians Foundation has endeavored to provide a “state of the union” of the medical profession. What are physicians thinking about in the year 2012: about the practice of medicine, about their career plans, and about the current state of the healthcare system?
The survey was sent to over 630,000 physicians – or over 80 percent of physicians in active patient. One thing is clear -- it is a challenging and uncertain time to be a doctor.
The results of the survey reflect uncertainty and should be taken in the context of current events.
Key findings include:
* Over three quarters of physicians – 77.4 percent – are somewhat pessimistic or very pessimistic about the future of the medical profession.
* Over 84 percent of physicians agree that the medical profession is in decline.
* The majority of physicians – 57.9 percent -- would not recommend medicine as a career to their children or other young people.
* Over one third of physicians would not choose medicine if they had their careers to do over.
* Over 52 percent of physicians have limited the access Medicare patients have to their practices or are planning to do so.
* Over 26 percent of physicians have closed their practices to Medicaid patients.
* Over 62 percent of physicians said Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are either unlikely to increase healthcare quality and decrease costs or that that any quality/cost gains will not be worth the effort.
* Over 59 percent of physicians indicate passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., “health reform”) has made them less positive about the future of healthcare in America.
What’s wrong with this picture?
The complete study can be found here.