Despite health care overhaul, the future of medicine looks pretty bleak—at least according to doctors. New research suggests that if physician practice trends continue, more than 44,000 physicians will be lost from the workforce in the next four years. The survey of 13,575 U.S. physicians commissioned by The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization, finds that physicians are working fewer hours, seeing fewer patients and limiting access to their practices in light of significant changes to the medical practice environment.
And if those patterns continue, the medical landscape will change significantly—and patients will be the ones who pay.Over the next one to three years, more than 50 percent of physicians will cut back on patients seen, work part-time, switch to concierge medicine, retire, or take other steps likely to reduce patient access, the survey finds. And should 100,000 physicians transition from practice-owner to employed status over the next four years (such as working in a hospital setting), the survey indicates that this will lead to 91 million fewer patient encounters. For the full article click here.