Here’s why 9 out of 10 doctors wouldn’t recommend medicine as a profession0
Dr. Don Rice needs to move fast to stay in business. He owns Urgent Care Clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he and his staff see some 18,000 patients a year – about 50 a day.
“Sometimes I feel like those Chinese acrobats spinning all the plates, and you’re just frantically going around trying to see if you can keep them all up before they come crashing down,” Rice says.
With shrinking reimbursements, growing bureaucracy and increasing competition from both nurse practitioners and specialists, Rice sees primary care medicine as a dying field.
“What we do in primary care is not valued. It’s devalued,” Rice said. “I think family practice will be a dead specialty in about 10 years.”
Dr. Don Rice and his staff see around 50 patients a day at his clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska. America Tonight
Rice said he wouldn’t recommend primary care for medical school graduates, and he’s not alone. A 2012 survey of 5,000 physicians by the nation’s largest insurer of physician and surgeon medical liability found that 9 in 10 wouldn’t recommend medicine as a profession. For those already in the profession, the stress can be unbearable. On average, the U.S. loses as many as 400 physicians to suicide every year.
According to Dr. Brian Forrest, who practices family medicine in Apex, North Carolina, physician burnout is one of the major issues in medicine today.
Forrest has pioneered what he calls a direct care model, which makes seeing your doctor like a health club membership. He doesn’t take insurance, but for about $50 a month, patients have unlimited access to his clinic, plus free blood work and other basic diagnostic tests.