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article imageOp-Ed: Doctors discourage others from joining the profession

By Jeannie Stokowski-Bisanti     Apr 15, 2014 in Health
According to The Daily Beast, nine out of 10 doctors discourage others from joining the profession, and 300 physicians commit suicide every year. A few years ago, physicians were named as having the second-most suicidal occupation.
Unaware to many, the level of sheer unhappiness amongst physicians is on the rise.
The public sees medical professionals like ophthalmologists and radiologists earning a great amount but being a primary care physician is not like being a plastic surgeon, for example. Since primary care doctors do the work that no one else is willing to do, being a primary care physician is more like being a janitor without the social status or union protections.
Things are only getting worse for many doctors, especially those who still accept health insurance. The Daily Beast writes that according to Dr. Stephen Schimpff, an internist and former CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center who is writing a book about the crisis in primary care, just processing insurance forms costs $58 for every patient encounter. Physicians have had to increase the number of patients they see just to make ends meet. Because of this, the average face-to-face clinic visit lasts about 12 minutes.
Patients nor doctors are happy about this. The Affordable Care Act has codified this broken system into law and this worries many doctors. While forcing everyone to buy health insurance, the ACA could have mandated a uniform or streamlined claims procedure improving access to care. Malcolm Gladwell noted, “You don’t train someone for all of those years in [medicine]… and then have them run a claims processing operation for insurance companies.”
Difficulty dealing with insurers has caused many physicians to close their practices and become employees. Employed physicians also have high patient loads.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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