The Association of American Medical Colleges recently projected a shortfall of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030. That is only 12 years into the future. Presumably you are still planning to be alive and occasionally in need of a doctor twelve years hence. But, clearly, it also means that the doctor shortage is already a reality, just not as severe as it will be in a few years.
And the problem will not confine itself to the absolute number of doctors. An article in a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings says that nearly one in five doctors plan to switch to part-time clinical hours, 27% plan to leave their current practice, and 9% plan to get an administrative job or switch careers entirely. While Obamacare didn’t cause the problem to start it created countless administrative headaches for doctors. Some have responded by retiring early or leaving the practice of medicine altogether.
As physicians look to their futures their morale sinks. Half of doctors wouldn’t recommend the profession to their children. Are the patients worse? No. It is the regulatory burden that is causing physicians to realize that the reason they went through the rigors of medical training – to help SICK PEOPLE – has now become a task of satisfying government make-work regulations.
Who remembers “The Stimulus?” Not that easy is it? That is because the Democrats never utter the word “stimulus” any longer. They know that Americans hated that trillion-dollar boondoggle and the “shovel ready” projects. But the “stimulus” wasn’t just a waste of taxpayer dollars, it created a bureaucratic nightmare for doctors.
Tell me if you recognize this? You are discussing your problem with your doctor who no longer makes eye contact with you. Why is that? Because their eyes are on a computer screen and they are furiously typing in required “blanks.” The “stimulus” requires doctors to store patients’ medical records digitally rather than on paper (footnote). If they refused to comply, the government would cut their Medicare reimbursements. And the utter nonsense of what must be IN THE DIGITAL record makes for a daunting experience. Today’s US doctor is the highest paid clerical worker in the world.
Alternatively, you may have noticed that there is a person with your doctor during your private medical conference who is, instead, tying furiously. Or, unknown to you, your doctor has a micro device attached to their glasses or other paraphernalia that is transmitting your every word to a transcriptionist in India or elsewhere. Now doesn’t that sound like a good reason to spend 4 years in college, 4 years in medical school, and 4 years minimum in postdoctoral training. Obamacare strengthened this mandate.
[Directly from the Pipes article] According to a recent Stanford Medicine survey of primary care physicians, “62 percent of time devoted to each patient is being spent in the Electronic Health Record.” Three in four primary care doctors say electronic health records have added hours to their workday. And 71% say they’re a cause of physician burnout.
As bad as Obamacare was for patient record keeping mandates, “Medicare-for all” will wither your doctor where he/she sits! You may think that doctors earn too much money, but, let me assure you, THEY DON’T THINK SO. Medicare-for-all bill, S. 1804, calls for paying doctors at current Medicare reimbursement rates, which are roughly 40% lower than private insurers’ reimbursement rates. What would you tell your employer if they said you were getting a 40% pay cut?
The British lesson [Directly from the Pipes article]:
- Practicing medicine in Britain is incredibly stressful. General practitioners are often forced to see up to 70 patients a day.
- In a recent survey of young British doctors, eight in ten report experiencing “excessive stress.”
- Nearly a third have a mental disorder of some sort, according to a 2011 study in the British Medical Journal.
- Physicians experiencing burnout are twice as likely to make a mistake as doctors who aren’t overburdened. Incorrect prescriptions and diagnoses can easily prove fatal.
- Over the last decade, the NHS has lost nearly 5,000 general practitioners. According to the chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, the country is “hemorrhaging family doctors.”
- It’s not just physicians who are leaving — more than 33,000 British nurses abandon their profession every year. That’s enough to staff over 20 hospitals. Working conditions are so bad that some are leaving to work at grocery stores, which have better hours and pay.
My friends, if you want to see a cataclysm in medical care, elect a Democrat majority! And, by the by, British doctors can have a private practice and there is private insurance in Great Britain. Indeed, as it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain care through the National Health Service, private insurance is booming! Private insurance is banned under “Medicare-for-all.”
I am not saying that a digital medical record is not better than a paper medical record. I am saying that the way the government set it up it is nightmarish!