Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor!

McCoy and KirkSarah Rubenstein at The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports on a survey of 11,950 primary care physicians who say everything is fine and dandy.  Just kidding.  Some highlights:

94% said the time they’ve devote to non-clinical paperwork in the past three years has increased.

63% said the paperwork has meant they spend less time per patient.

82% said their practices would be “unsustainable” if proposed Medicare pay cuts were made.

78% believe there is a shortage of primary care docs in the U.S.

49% said that over the next three years they plan to reduce the number of patients they see or stop practicing entirely.

60% would not recommend medicine as a career to young people.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Primary care medicine is going to make a comeback.  There isn’t going to be any choice.  The cost of health care is through the roof and the medical care people increasingly need is chronic care, not acute or emergent care.  You need primary care physicians to handle that.

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