The health reform, without doubt, will affect each and every one of us, at some point, or another. But that is not the only factor that will determine the future of healthcare. A key piece of the puzzle, and the media has been touching upon this more frequently, questions where the physician will fit into this varying equation.
With a growing elderly population, a safe and dependable patient care plan must be put in place, and followed, by hospitals. With more and more physicians opting out of the health care field, all together, this poses a huge problem for health care facilities and patients, alike, not to mention the physicians, who spent much of their lives preparing for, and practicing, a life in the medical field.
An online news article, published from an Article Dashboard article, reported that, while there is an estimated 650,000 Americans working in the physician services sector, up to 220,000 of those currently practicing, could be retired by 2020. This is nearly one-third of our current pool of practicing physicians in the United States.
The article added that the lack of primary care physicians, when looking ahead, is said to be a partial effect of medical students choosing to study specialized medicine, which provides higher salaries, and greater job securities.
Students might be on the right track, as many physicians are seeing, and experiencing, greater demands within their schedules. This negative, coupled with a decrease in pay, leaves little hope and minimal options, regarding physician employment opportunities.
Primary care physicians, including those working in family practices, pediatrics, OB/GYNs, and those who specialize in internal medicine, and they are highly utilized by patients today. A future with less primary care physicians will create a hole in the health care system, no matter how you slice it, or dice it.