A Draft for Physicians?
Side Note: With more and more Baby Boomers needing primary care, and their care getting more complex as they get older, primary care physicians are having a tough time meeting their patients’ needs and their practices’ needs simultaneously for several reasons.
First, Medicare reimbursements for primary care physicians often don’t cover everything that is involved in their patients’ care. Second, most primary care physicians need to see 30-35 patients per day to maintain their practice and elderly patients don’t always fit into the 15-minute visit. On top of that, add rising overhead costs, additional significant costs like med mal coverage, and the increasingly complicated nature of running a practice (think social media).
The solution, posed by the author in the book reviewed below, is to have all medical school graduates serve a two year medical “draft” as primary care physicians before going on to residency. Good idea or unnecessary? Read on for the details.
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Medical Crisis in America: Why One Doctor Quit
By: MELINDA BURNS, Miller-McCune
Posted: October 8, 2011
Primary care physicians in America are struggling with what is and what will be: a health care system that’s broken and the coming influx of aging baby boomers, according to Frederick M. Barken, M.D. in his book, Out of Practice.
By most measures, Dr. Barken was a success as a primary care doctor. He ran a solo practice in rural upstate New York with 3,000 patients; he was well respected, and he earned a comfortable income. But after 25 years, at the relatively young age of 51, he’d had enough. In his new book, Barken tells how he was driven out by the extraordinary demands of a frail and befuddled elderly clientele in the era of “fast food” medical care.