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Over 1,400 Doctors Answer the Question ‘Are you happy as a Physician?’

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Feb. 8, 2011 http://www.sermo.com

37% of physicians polled expressed serious concerns that the current state of healthcare is impeding their ability to provide quality care to their patients.  Even respondents who indicated that they were in fact happy as physicians agreed that there are unique challenges facing physicians in America today, including:

  • Not being able to spend enough time with patients in the wake of mass production medicine
  • The lack of solidarity on the part of physicians to return the focus of medicine to the patient
  • Increasing economic pressures from costly malpractice insurance
  • Insurance companies interfering with doctor-to-patient care
  • The overwhelming burden of stringent rules and regulations from government agencies who lack insight into the medical profession

Many doctors are trying their best to refocus the profession back to the patients. Direct cash models and concierge medical care are two of the methods doctors are testing to improve patient care.  A family medicine doctor from FL discusses her plans. "We are transitioning our practice away from third party payers to a direct cash pay model. In 12-24 months I expect that I’ll again love medicine. What I dislike now are the payers, not the patients."

Those less optimistic caution declining numbers of physicians if the healthcare system remains unchanged. According to a Texas Rheumatologist,  "We will continue to see a massive exodus on the part of good practicing physicians …(and) our young and brightest will choose to do something else".

One physician specializing in Neurology summarized the tone of the poll results in one succinct comment "No matter what you answer, medicine is the most noble career and profession. It makes you (the physician) and the patients better people."

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