Monday, March 29, 2010

Now It Comes Up

It seems the media has just realized that there are not enough primary care docs to see all the new patients getting insurance with the new healthcare reform bill. Yup, we are about 40,000 primary docs short. The AP article referenced never even mentions how to fix this problem other than the "medical home" fantasy. I have been talking and blogging about this problem for years. Nothing will change unless internists and FPs are paid more and their student debts are forgiven. Until then you can call your office a medical home, a medical condo, a medical shack, or a medical shanty and it won't matter. Medical students are just not salivating to jump into field.


DGtheFPinILLINOIS said...

Nyet, comrade.

General Secretary Obama will call zis "Medical Commune" in next five-year plan.

Bohezemoi. General Secretary cannot fail in creating American Soviet State.

Unless American voters wake up and dump socialists in 2010 election AND 2012 election.

Pat said...

You nailed it Doug, again. This will not get better, but it will get funnier.

Sir Lance-a-lot said...

You missed the boat on this one, Doug -

FP's already sold themselves down the river thirty years ago when they, out of fairness and generosity, failed to stop the PA / NP juggernaut being pushed by the specialists and the socialists.

Sure, it was nice to be able to have a lesser-paid employee to handle the "simple stuff," but nobody seems to have foreseen that in a medical world where everyone gets referred out, everything is "simple stuff," AND nothing is "simple" for the specialists,
therefore, while the specialists will always have their PA's as nothing more than lackeys, the FP's are beginning to have them as competition, and that competition will only get worse.

It is a conceit born of our own shortsightedness that many of us believe that sooner or later, our salaries will have to go up because people will be clamoring for primary care. In fact, just the opposite will happen, and our salaries will go down, as they will become PA salaries, and it will become an accepted fact that your "primary provider" isn't a physician at all.

Primary care is now the ultimate dead-end job, and we can thank ourselves for getting it there.

Anonymous said...

As an internist and FP, I agree with the erosion of out profession by extenders. Check this...the Hawaii legislature just gave prescriptive rights to Naturopaths.....yeah, the guys who don't really believe in western medicines, and now I get people coming in after three trips to the naturopath, at 80 bucks a pop, two herbals (sold by the Naturopath), followed by one antibiotic, and they are no better so THEN thay see me!?!?! WTF ! Oh, and they complain about the $12 copay. I'm ready to start telling these people that I can't threat them and they should go back to their Naturopath.