Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Physician Foundation, Primary Care Physician Remarks About Present Health System

Help! Remarks of Physicians in Response to National Survey of 270,000 Primary Care Practitioners and 50,000 Specialists. Survey Conducted by the Physicians Foundation, a Charitable Foundation, in the Spring and Early Summer of 2008, Released to Media on November 16, 2008

What follows are 10 comments selected from among 4,000 comments submitted by primary care doctors in response to the Physicians’ Foundation survey. The remarks show anguish, anger, and angst about the present state of primary care in America and does not augur well for the future. Comments were published in December 8, 2008 American Medical News, “Doctors Urge: Rescue Primary Care or Work Force Shortage Will Mount.”

1. “If not for a son who I’m working to put through college and a house mortgage, I would quite medicine in a heartbeat! I’m beat, tired and underappreciated. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep – wondering why I got into all this.”

2. “I cannot continue seeing fewer patients for less money and adding more paperwork requirements. I’ve had one nervous breakdown and would rather not do that again.”

3. “I would invite each government policymakers to spend one day in a primary care office or community clinic to see the current chaos that is American medicine.”

4. I do not see what anyone would go into medicine at this time and very much regret having chosen medicine as a profession. I would never recommend medicine as a profession to anyone.

5. “Can you image what would happen if your plumber handed you a bill for $60 and you replied,’ I think I’ll just pay $32.’ In no other profession are services paid for in such an arbitrary fashion.”

6. “Bean –counters have taken over decision-making in health care.”

7. “We need more primary care physicians, but students are choosing primary care less often. What is the incentive? Our hours are worse, our pay is less, our hassles are greater and we have a legal system that is out of control. I had to leave private practice because I couldn’t make a living. As an employee, I have lost my autonomy.”

8. “With $100,000 in student loans, I do not know how I will ever achieve financial security. Morale is low in general among physicians in our state. I would not choose medicine as a career again.”

9. “Paperwork! Paperwork is killing us!”

10. “HELP”

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