By Twila Brase, RN, PHN, president and co-founder, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom and author of the new book, “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records.
In part, the article blames the shortage on the “graying” of America, as both medical professionals and patients age, stating that “one-third of active doctors will be older than 65 within the next decade.”
But our organization believes the impending shortage has much more to do with the state of health care today, which is causing doctors to leave the practice of medicine—or not enter the field in the first place. In fact, many physicians now discourage their own children from following in their footsteps.
The shortage is less about doctors with gray hair, it’s about what Congress, regulators and health plans have done to cause doctors to pull out their hair. As evidence, a separate recent study found that a majority of doctors say “barriers set by insurance plans have led to worsened conditions for patients in need of care.”
Researchers with Aimed Alliance found that doctors are so fed up with the constant headaches caused by insurers, two-thirds would recommend against pursuing a career in medicine, and nearly half (48%) are considering a career change altogether. Unfortunately for patients, every exiting physician takes decades of expertise and experience with them never to be used again for care and cure.
Another culprit is the mandated government-certified electronic health records (EHRs), which is forcing doctors to use a technology system that wasn’t made for patient care. The EHRs have been called clunky and cumbersome. Studies also show that physicians spend twice as much time tending to the computer as they spend tending to the patient.