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Why Doctors Are Sick of Their Profession

Would you encourage a friend or family member to become a physician? The Wall Street Journal recently dove into the current state of doctors and their happiness with their profession.

Based on a survey of 12,000 physicians:

  • Only 6% described morale as positive
  • 84% said incomes were constant or decreasing
  • Majority don’t have enough time to spend with patients because of paperwork
  • Nearly half plan to reduce number of patients in the next 3 years or stop practicing altogether

What is causing such a change in heart? First is financial: according to the WSJ the average income of general practitioners has declined, “despite a near doubling of the number of patients that doctors see a day.” While there are increased numbers of people needing medical attention, “less of that money is actually going to the people who provide the care.” Next is the lacking time available to actually spend with patients. Where is this time going? The WSJ found that doctors spend an hour on average a day on paperwork, which equates to 83k a year. In addition, their staff spends 7+ hours a day on paperwork! Also augmenting the dissatisfaction is the complexity and lacking resources to deal with chronic care conditions. Lastly, is fear: “fear of lawsuits; runaway malpractice-liability premiums; and finally the loss of professional autonomy.”

The WSJ article noted that “recent surveys have shown that 30-50% of practicing physicians wouldn’t choose to enter the medical profession if they were deciding on a career again- an even higher percentage wouldn’t encourage their children to pursue a medical career.” 30-50%! It’s time to bring the morale back into being a doctor. Doctors need to be paid for their hard work. They need to use technology to help automate and save time, time which can go back to spending quality time with their patients. They need to know they are making a difference for their patients with initiatives like population health management and quality based care. They need to be able to provide the best care to their patients, in spite of limited resources. The doctor-patient relationship has been diluted by “business considerations, corporate directives, and third-party intrusions,” and it’s time to bring it back. It is time to “restore the humanism in doctor-patient relationships.”

If you are curious to learn how Privia can help bring back your “human moments,” email physicians@priviahealth.com

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/1ImpfVn

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