Those of you who are physicians will be interested to learn that according to Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, who blogs at “33 Charts,” there’s never been a better time to be a doctor.
I won’t quote the post. It’s not very long and you can read it yourself.
I will admit that there are some things about being a doctor that are good today. Access to information has never been better. Communication is easier. New treatments are emerging.
But to say that there’s never been a better time to be a doctor than right now is ludicrous.
Where shall I begin? Let’s start with government and third-party interference, regulations, inspections, unfunded mandates, cutbacks, rollbacks and so on. Reimbursements for services are declining while the amount of non-clinical work is increasing.
How about the malpractice insurance situation? Neurosurgeons in parts of New York are paying premiums of over $300,000 per year.[See what any MD pays in NY here.]
Many are predicting the imminent demise of private practice.
Medical education is under fire with ratcheting down of work hours. Yesterday, I heard a Congressman speak at a surgical conference. He is sympathetic to physicians but predicts a 30% to 50% reduction in graduate medical education funding this year.
A shortage of physicians is on the horizon. Will anyone want to become a doctor?
I would like to see a poll of doctors on the subject of whether they think there’s never been a better time to be a doctor than right now.
I can think of a better time—the early 1970s. Doctors were respected. The cost for malpractice insurance for general surgeons was under $500 per year. Most people had medical insurance and the payments were based on fee-for-service. Charity care was undertaken willingly with because doctors were satisfied with what their incomes from insured patients. Was it perfect? Of course not. Are patients better off now? I don’t know. The news is full of stories about how doctors and hospitals are killing people every day. Medical errors are occurring in record numbers. Panic in the streets.
You tell me; is now the best time to be a doctor?