Sandeep Jauhar writes about the growing disillusionment he and other physicians feel regarding their career choice in an essay entitled “Why Doctors Are Sick of Their Profession.” Previous studies have demonstrated the growing dissatisfaction amongst physicians. Jauhar provides a personal account of his own unhappiness regarding the healthcare system as well as a discussion of some of the trends that contributed to this discontent. He argues physicians have fallen from their once esteemed position in society due to recent transformations in the United States medical system.
Jauhar points to unnecessary procedures, shifts in public opinion towards physicians, and increased bureaucracy as a few reasons physicians have become dissatisfied with their work. Additionally, decreasing compensations has contributed to physician weariness. Contrary to some popular beliefs, physician income has declined in the past few decades; adjusted for inflation, the average income of a general practitioner was $185,000 in 1970 and decreased to $161,000 in 2010.
Ultimately, Jauhar argues, this growing disenchantment amongst doctors leads to poorer medical treatment for patients. His solution is to restore the “human moments” unique to the medical profession. One way to do so is by creating better healthcare metrics that assess for quality instead of quantity of treatment. Additionally, physicians should be rewarded for improving patient outcomes instead of the number of tests they order. By reforming and minimizing some of the bureaucracy that surrounds medical care, not only will doctors be able to practice medicine for the reasons they originally sought, but patients will receive better care as well.
To read more from Sandeep Jauhar, click here.