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Physician Survey

By June 21, 2013Commentary

Physicians are the critical human element in the health care delivery system.  A recent survey of about 3500 doctors from Jackson Healthcare covers various physician trends and attitudes.   (Jackson Survey)   In general, 36% of doctors reported a negative outlook on practicing medicine, while only 16% had a favorable outlook.  An astounding 59% said the would not recommend medicine to a young person looking for a career.  Younger doctors and those in primary care had greater dissatisfaction.  More physicians are employed by hospitals, 26% in 2013, up from 20% in 2012 and the decline is in physicians in solo practice.  Many younger physicians have never been in private practice and most doctors avoid private practice because of administrative hassles and reimbursement concerns.  A heavy workload and lack of support staff are significant contributors to dissatisfaction as well.  Fifty-eight percent of doctors report working 10 or more hours a day.  Somewhat surprisingly, more doctors this year than last reported taking new Medicare patients.  Around six percent of doctors don’t take private insurance, many of those are in concierge practices.  Around 25% of physicians are involved in an ACO.  The biggest concern should be that an increasing number of physicians express a desire to retire early or leave the field of practicing medicine.  Reform, economic costs and burn-out are the major reasons cited for wanting to leave the profession.

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