Alan Fischman closed his practice as a rheumatologist in Poughkeepsie after 34 years saying, “It’s the business of healthcare that is fatiguing doctors, it’s not the practice of medicine.” Tannaz Rasouli, director of government relations for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), claims that most doctors are retiring because of their age and also frustrations about the delivery of medical care and payment.
Eric Brocks, who served as president of the Dutchess County Medical Society and chairman of the Department of Opthalmology at Vassar Hospital, said, “The constant question is, you want to be able to provide the level of care that you think the patient deserves… but in order to do that, the system has to reimburse you at a level where you can do that.”
The physician shortage issue is going to result in delays in patient care and longer waits for medical appointments. According to a report from the AAMC, the demand for doctors will continue to out-number available physicians, leaving the U.S. with an estimated shortage of 46,000-90,000 physicians by 2025. Physicians are frustrated by the government’s demands related to medical care.
One effort to help meet the country’s future healthcare needs includes increasing federal support for residency training programs. Other strategies to relieve the doctor shortage include increasing the interaction of non-clinical physicians in patient care, delaying physician retirement and shifting the focus of medical education from a time-based program to a competency-based program, meaning students advance as they meet academic milestones.
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