Over 82% of the responding physicians are unsure about the future of the health care system and their role in it over the next 3-5 years.
San Francisco, California (PRWEB) October 15, 2012
A recently released survey conducted by The Physicians Foundation shows that physicians in the U.S. have a very gloomy outlook for the future of healthcare as a career.
The survey is one of the largest of its kind ever undertaken in the U.S., and is comprised of responses from 13,575 U.S. physicians. Emails were sent to over 630,000 physicians, or over 80 percent of physicians in active patient care. The survey was conducted throughout the first 6 months of 2012 and data was released in September 2012.
The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit that works in the support of physicians. The organization completed the survey with the help of Merritt Hawkins, a physician search firm. Questions on the survey ranged from career satisfaction, thoughts on healthcare reform, the state of the medical profession, and what physicians foresee for the future of medicine and medical practice.
Some of the findings from the survey include:
- 84% of respondents believe that the medical profession is declining and 77.4% are pessimistic about the future of the medical profession.
- Older physicians, male physicians, practice owners, and specialists were the most pessimistic groups, with younger doctors, female doctors, primary care physicians and employed physicians feeling more optimistic about the medical profession.
- Over 82% of the responding physicians are unsure about the future of the health care system and their role in it over the next 3-5 years.
- Doctors are working fewer hours already compared with 4 years ago, and over 50% of the physicians surveyed plan on cutting back on their hours in the next 3 years through a combination of retirement, cutting back on patient numbers, switching to concierge service, or going to a part time schedule.
The survey findings affirm what many health care professionals and advocates have seen occurring in the medical profession over the past 5-10 years. Physician shortages, less access to healthcare, and a reduction in the quality of care are all significant concerns for the future of medicine in the U.S.
“Uncertainty is the biggest driver of physician pessimism and right now it’s at an all-time high,” said Lou Goodman, PhD, president of the Physicians Foundation. “The uncertainty of the economy as a whole, the looming Medicare cut to physician pay and the changes brought by the Affordable Care Act are just a few of the factors unnerving doctors,” he said.
One thing that is certain: the growing number of physicians who are silently leaving the ranks of medical practice. This silent exodus in the physician workforce is largely unknown by the public, however they are beginning to notice it as they experienced decreased access to doctors and an increasingly difficult healthcare environment.
The full report can be found here.
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