The Beginning Of The End
The Beginning Of The End By Michael T. Snyder - Kindle Version

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The Coming Doctor Shortage

The United States is going to experience an absolutely devastating doctor shortage in the coming years.  Even now it can be difficult to see a doctor in many areas, and if you are fortunate enough to see one you will probably pay through the nose.  Medical bills have gotten absolutely insane in this country.  Many Americans have gone to the hospital for a few hours, perhaps got to see a doctor for half an hour, and ended up being billed thousands of dollars.  Unfortunately, it is not the doctors that are getting rich from these nightmarish medical bills.  Rather, "the system" is set up so that "the middle men" are the ones raking in most of the cash.  In fact, thousands upon thousands of doctors are being chased out of the profession because being a doctor just isn't worth the trouble anymore.  According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, we were already going to be facing a shortage of more than 150,000 doctors over the next 15 years even before Obamacare was passed. Obamacare is just going to make the doctor shortage even worse.  In fact, one poll found that 40 percent of all U.S. doctors plan to get out of the profession over the next 3 years.  Of course not all of those disgruntled doctors will end up leaving the profession, but even if 10 percent of them quit it is going to create a medical crisis of unprecedented magnitude in this country.

Look, it is no secret that I am not a big fan of the health care industry in the United States.  But if I get into a car accident or someone shoots me then I very much want someone to take me to the hospital and I don't want to wait a couple of hours to see a doctor.

Unfortunately, the way that the health care industry is set up today is absolutely suffocating for doctors.  The government is trying to tell them how to treat patients, lawyers are constantly looking to sue them and most of the money ends up going to health insurance companies, big pharma and huge health care corporations.

In the old days, all you needed was a bed, a patient, a doctor and maybe a nurse.

After all, how much does it really cost for a doctor to look you over, ask you a few questions and patch you up?

Unfortunately, a whole host of bad guys have gotten between the doctor and the patient these days.  They have all carved out a little bit of "territory" and they all have to be paid.

The health care industry used to be about helping people.

Today it is all about greed, and the system is coming apart.

As the economy collapses, an increasing number of Americans are being forced to rely on programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

For example, back in 1965 only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

This is putting our doctors in a very difficult position.  According to The New York Post, treating Medicare and Medicaid patients is a huge financial strain on U.S. doctors...

Estimates suggest that on average physicians are reimbursed at roughly 78% of costs under Medicare, and just 70% of costs under Medicaid. Physicians must either make up for this shortfall by shifting costs to those patients with insurance — meaning those of us with insurance pay more — or treat patients at a loss.

You understand what all that means, right?

Medical bills have to be jacked up on all the rest of us to make up for the Medicare and Medicaid patients.

But that is just one example of how the system is failing.

Today, it is quite common for medical school students to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt as they go through school.  Then it takes a number of years of really hard work before they become established and at a point where they can start making good money.  Meanwhile, lawyers are constantly circling them like vultures.  Malpractice insurance premiums are absolutely insane at this point and one really bad lawsuit can ruin a career that took decades to build.

In addition, now thanks to Obamacare and other ridiculous regulations that have been passed in recent years, the government has a tremendous amount of control over how medicine is practiced in the United States.  Doctors no longer have the complete freedom to treat their patients as they see fit.

Sadly, a significant percentage of U.S. doctors have had enough and now want to get out.

According to a Merritt Hawkins survey of 2,379 doctors for the Physicians Foundation that was conducted in August of last year, 40 percent of all U.S. doctors plan to "retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care" at some point over the next three years.

When Obamacare was originally being debated perhaps we should have taken some time to ask our doctors what they thought about it first.

Now we could end up with a massive doctor shortage as our doctors vote with their feet.

Right now there are approximately 960,000 doctors in the United States.

What do you think our medical system will look like if even 100,000 of them bail out of the profession?

According to the same survey noted above, 74 percent of U.S. doctors plan to make "one or more significant changes in their practices in the next one to three years, a time when many provisions of health reform will be phased in."

One big trend that we are seeing right now is the refusal to see certain kinds of patients.  Under our current system, some patients are much more "profitable" than others.  Many doctors have decided that they simply cannot afford to see many of the "unprofitable" patients any longer.

Our health care system is messed up beyond all recognition.  In America, we pay much more for health care than anyone else in the world and what we get in return is a system that is literally falling to pieces.

It would have been nice if we would have gotten some real health care reform, but instead what we got was Obamacare - one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever been passed in all of modern American history.

An IBD/TIPP poll taken back in August 2009 found that 4 out of every 9 American doctors said that they "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Congress passed Obamacare.

Well, it passed anyway.

Now the doctor shortage is about to get a whole lot worse.

Survey after survey shows similar results.

According to a survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine, approximately one-third of all practicing physicians in the United States indicated that they may leave the medical profession because of the new health care law.

Are you starting to become alarmed yet?

We have a system that is broken and large numbers of doctors are now saying that they simply want to give up.

Sadly, Obamacare is also causing the cancellation of a lot of new hospitals.

According to the executive director of Physician Hospitals of America, the new health care law has already forced the cancellation of at least 60 doctor-owned hospitals that were scheduled to open soon.

Not that I am just getting on Obama and the Democrats.  Bush and the Republicans were a complete disaster when it came to health care as well.  Thanks to both political parties we have a health care system that is a joke.

Today, approximately 40% of all U.S. doctors are age 55 or older.  All of those old doctors are thinking about retirement.  They are too old to be putting up with all of this garbage.

It is an open secret that our health care industry has become a giant money making scam and that it is not favorable for either doctors or patients.

According to one doctor interviewed by Fox News, "a gunshot wound to the head, chest or abdomen" will cost $13,000 at his hospital the moment the victim comes in the door, and then there will be significant additional charges depending on how bad the wound is.

So how much of that $13,000 do you think the doctor gets?

Not a whole lot.

There certainly are some wealthy doctors out there, but the truth is that "the system" gets most of the money.

I am sure almost everyone reading this has a medical bill horror story to tell.

In America today, if you have an illness that requires intensive care for an extended period of time, it can be really easy to rack up medical bills that total over 1 million dollars.

In fact, most Americans are scared to even spend a single night in the hospital these days.

It is estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.  In fact, one trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of the medical bills that she has audited contain "gross overcharges".

Basically, hospitals charge whatever they think they can get away with.  Unlike most transactions, you don't get to see a "price list" first when you go into the hospital.  You just ask them to take care of you and you trust them to bill you fairly later.

Why should it cost a half million dollars for a simple operation?

It's not that complicated - the doctor cuts you open, carves something out and then sews you back up.

So why should it cost so much?

Am I missing something?

Sadly, it is those that don't know how things work that get the worst of it.

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don't know how the system works then you are out of luck.

You should always, always have health insurance if you can afford it.  If you do not have a health insurance company fighting the hospital then it can be really hard to have your medical bills knocked down to a reasonable level.

In any event, as doctors start leaving the profession in droves it may become difficult to find quality medical care at all.

Perhaps even more of us will start going out of the country for medical care.  According to numbers released by Deloitte Consulting, a whopping 875,000 Americans were "medical tourists" in 2010.

So what do all of you think about the state of the health care industry in the United States?  Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below....

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  • http://www.no2foreclosures.info DaVid

    Most of these “deficit” doctors are absolutely useless anyways. All they are are a bunch of brainwashed drug-dispensers. If the stuff they dispense were not legal, they all be in some prison somewhere like their illegal drugs dispenser brothers. These medical doctors have no clue about real nutrition (i.e., what is a GMO “food” for example), prevention, alternative cancer cures that cost less than $100 and actually works. Take, for example, the good doctors that Mr. Steve Jobs employs. Has his cancer been cured? No.

    Check this out: http://www.rense.com/Steve%20Jobs.pdf (starting on page 5 if you are in a hurry)

    • Jman

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Are you a doctor? Of course doctors know about nutrition, and not just drug dispensers. You must have had one bad experience and are generalizing or are upset and jealous that you are not a doctor.

      • Bucktooth

        Medical doctors are NOT trained in nutrition ..1 term. I know because I am a naturopathic doctor, and MD’s refer to us alot. They send many patients to us for other nutrtion and guidance on how to heal more naturally like the body is suppose to do. You will not heal from cancer by the conventional treatments. Lookit up..chemo/radiation, and look up essiac or Gerson methods. This would be the healing. I’ve always wondered how losing your hair and vomiting would be a way to heal.

      • http://www.religionscience.com Babu G. Ranganathan

        Doctors are not taught nutritional healing and prevention in medical schools. There are many natural (food based) medical treatments for prevention and treatment of disease that have been tested and proved by scientists, but these things are not taught in medical schools.

        For example, certain foods, with a high success rate, have been known to prevent and even successfully treat cancer, but there’s not much money that can be made from these because natural elements and compounds cannot be patented. Only artificial, man-made, products, like what the drug companies produce, can be patented, but they come with many adverse side effects and low success rate in treating disease. But, because they can be patented, there’s much money to be made from them.

        • DrJKH

          And HOW exactly do you know what is taught in medical school since you’ve never even set foot inside one?

  • Robert

    My wife works for a small company that helps Insurance Companies navigate the arcane rules of Medicare. She works hard and makes good money, but when I ask her about her job, she quickly says that everything she does is a waste of money and a total waste of time. The insurance companies rake in the bucks (top line) but are mandated by the government to comply with stupid rules. The article seems to imply that the insurance companies are rolling in profit but thats not entirely true. Their overhead is high due to the crazy rules imposed by our government. How many government departments do we have now? I don’t know, but it’s too many. It’s all about empire building now.

    I have an idea. Every time a new department or program is started in government they should have a law that forces a vote for their existence. Something like every 10 years or so. We should abolish the Dept. of Labor, Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Commerce, and the Dept. of Energy to start. More from there.

  • http://www.battlefield315.com/2011/04/what-liberals-really-think-about-tea.html 007

    The democrats wonderful creations Medicare and Medicaid are killing our healthcare system. You are right the doctors don’t keep very much of these ridiculous medical bills. To get on Medicaid you have to give up all your assets and have no income. Now doctors are being expected to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients and lose money. It makes you understand why they want to quit practicing.

    Of course their screwing up our health care system with these sorry, inept, entitlement programs, will be the exact excuse they use to insist they take it all over.

  • Paul

    It’s the same everywhere. Big profits lead to staff shortages. At least in regard to qualified staff. The engineering sector also laments of staff shortage, but when you ask them how much they pay – well, you can start immediately, if you pay the company for permission to spend your life there …

  • It’s the AMA, stupid

    The problem is the AMA. It should be dissolved on antitrust grounds. It serves no purpose other than to act as a cartel jacking up doctors’ salaries by choking off the production of medical degrees.

    Leave the accreditation of medical degrees up to the department of education like every other profession (except law) does and the problem will go away.

    • Michael

      Yes, I agree – the AMA is a huge problem

      Michael

    • NLC

      You don’t know what you are talking about. Only about 29% of MD’s are in the AMA, and almost no specialists, who comprise about 50% of all MD’s.

      The AMA represents primary care providers and is dominated by MD’s who support universal, single-payer healthcare. That is why they supported Obamacare.

      • DrJKH

        Actually, far less than 29% are in the AMA. And that is dominated, not by primary care physicians, but by students and residents who have automatic, free memberships and are usually young, dumb, and supported by their parents and have not yet had to deal with the real world. Many of them, too, are foreign medical grads, who are poorly educated and come from communist countries and think that way because it’s all they know.

        Further, you clearly don’t know what YOU are talking about either. MD is the initials for one of two degrees one can get to become a physician, not an abbreviation for doctor. The abbreviation for doctor is Dr. Further, plurals don’t use apostrophes. MDs is correct pluralization of MD; MD’s is incorrect. MD’s is possessive. Next time, try to form a coherent thought before posting.

    • DrJKH

      While you are correct that the AMA is a problem, it’s not the problem YOU are railing against. The AMA doesn’t accredit medical schools or residency programs. At least try to know what you are talking about before you go spouting off.

  • Rebecca

    I don’t even know where to start with this. I have worked in hospitals as an RN for over 20 years and I have asked several docs if they like what they do and many say no but it is the only career lucritive enough to pay the student loans back. Not good. Most of the Dr.’s I have talked to say the insane amount of paperwork and filing that is mandated is completely out of control. Medicare & Medicaid don’t want to pay and insurance doesn’t want to pay so they hunt for any excuse to get out of doing just that. Our doctors go through years of grueling med school and internship to get paid a mere pittance at the discretion of some bureaucrats whim. I wouldn’t do it.
    Our government decides how long you will stay in the hospital (if at all) for your particular illness/disease. People get angry if they are sent home before they feel like they should but dr.’s cannot just keep you in the hospital because they think it’s appropriate.
    We have patients that suck the system dry everyday and expect expert care and free food, clean comfortable bed with daily linen changes, free pain medications and a dr. and nurse to cater to thier whims. Many of said patients have never contributed to the government mandated medicare or medicaid in thier lives, and that doesn’t even include the millions of illegal aliens that we are forced to care for without reimbursement of any kind.
    Yeah, the system is broken but it is government intervention that has made it the horrendous trainwreck it is now!

  • http://moneyedpoliticians.net Jack Lohman

    The anonymously-written article is partially correct, but seems to be listening to the moneyed interests at times. I’ve been in health care for 40 years and now on Medicare.

    I love it. And though medicare is not perfect it is the best thing we have going for us. Canada uses it vastly and 90% of Canadians prefer their system to ours, though they don’t like the wait times for non-emergency services. But they could eliminate those by spending 12% of GDP rather than the current 10% (but don’t fear, we spend 17% and it is going to 20% under ObamaCare).

    But Medicare eliminates the costly and wasteful middle man (the insurance company) which drains 20% without ever laying hands on the patient. Those costs for $15 million per year CEOs, shareholder profits, marketing costs, broker commissions, and even political costs (campaign bribes) that are also passed on to the patient.

    But now we have hospitals hiring their own physicians and paying them “productivity bonuses” for increased patient admissions and increased MRI testing, all whether needed or not. The only thing worse than that conflict of interest are physician-owned hospitals which congress put a stop to (fortunately).

    The health care industry gave $125 million in campaign bribes in 2009 to keep single-payer off the table (the only system that makes sense, because we could supply health care to 100% of Americans and cut our administrative but profitable waste by $400 billion per year).

    Go figure. We could have had the best system for zero bribes but the $125 million kept the correct system off the table.

    Which when extrapolated to all other issues tells you why we are losing on energy, wars, climate change, outsourcing jobs, and etc. We have a bought-and-paid-for board of directors (congress) and only public funding of campaigns will turn the country around.

    Jack Lohman
    http://MoneyedPoliticians.net

  • Alice

    I am disabled and on medicare. I do not want to be like this. I worked all of my life.
    I went from someone who could take care of herself to someone trying to survive on $751 a month. My medicare is the lowest level. My care is very poor. If I want a higher level, I will have to pay an extra $150 a month. Right.

    I know many on SSDI who are perfectly healthy people. One is on it because she is DEPRESSED. She gets mediCAID. Everything is paid for, even her chiro. She gets low income housing, food stamps, heating assistance, etc etc. I do not. This person smoke a carton of cigarettes a week and sees her therapist once a week. She is on psychiatric drugs. And she is just one example. Don’t you just love going to work every day to pay for them? You should be able to claim people like this on your taxes.

  • Patriot alice

    Most of the medicine dispensed cause more harm than good, because of side effects. I became suicidal for over a year once, because of those medications, and the doctor denied it all. The brain surgery that I refused and was seriously recommended to have in order to save my life was also unnecessary. We are nothing but a renewable resource to the health care industry, and you can lose everything you ever worked for, with one single illness….They will use the worst case outcome “Death” to scare you into compliance. I no longer trust the profession, big business has ruined it for us all…Before you sign any release form, do a lot of homework, think about all of the possibilities and risks…..

  • Richard Allen

    Maybe we should all be thinking backwards on these issues.

    Maybe medical school should be Free, in exchange you work 10 years in low income areas or accept all medicaid and medicare patients.

    With the noose of $100-200K of student debt off your back why would you need to make so much money to be well off?

    • Terrill

      Very interesting idea, and the only real solution to at least the PCP shortage that I’ve heard.

  • Tank

    Anti-Qur’an Strategy of the Bible Project Wheeler-Dealers
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1wXgXwj3MI

  • jox

    How much easier is the nacionalisation of the health care, like in Europe. Doctors don’t worry about money, they just take care of patients. It is not perfect and it’s expensive, but it’s a lot cheaper than in USA and a lot better. The only problem is that you americans hear the word ‘nationalise’ and start screaming ‘socialism’!

  • http://www.FairCareMD.com Alex Fair

    Actually, you can get the same or better rates as big insurance companies do. Doctors can be paid fairly and directly faster and better when they go direct.

    Try it on http://www.FairCareMD.com today!

    We hope you like it. COme back here and tell us what you think.

    Sincerely,
    Alex Fair
    Founder & CEO
    FairCareMD

  • http://theeconomiccollapse JackieR

    Doctors are trained drug pushers.
    I have self taught myself about alternative vits. I am 66 yrs old, have all my teeth and when I experience a discomfort I take the necessary vit. I cured myself of heartburn and acid reflux. I repeat CURED. All the medical profession does is treat the symptom. You will notice they have not cured anything. It makes me laugh when I hear about a run for the cure. There will never be a cure for anything because there is too much money to be made in cover-up drugs. They call acidreflux a disease, when it is not. It is the result of eating too much artificial oils. Our system is not made to be able to digest these things. Enough of my babble. I just go off on a tangient when I get wound up.

    • Katie

      I liked your post, Jackie! I’ve just been speaking with an herbalife guy who says he helps people use all natural things to treat their ailments. He says when the body has what it needs to function properly, the illness can be greatly relieved or actually go away. That sounds right on to me.

  • http://www.atlibertyatleisure@wordpress.com NickyG

    Option one: tell them you are Mexican and your health care is free.

    Option two: file bankruptcy

    Option three: Call Doctor Detroit.

  • Crystal

    I believe that doctors from foreign countries, especially from India, will be brought into the United States to make up for the shortage of doctors.

    Unfortunately, medical schools cost an enormous amount of money and it is frightening to go into that kind of debt.

  • liberranter

    DaVid, you make a good point about today’s doctors and drugs. Far too many of them have been co-opted by big pharma. OTOH, as Michael points out in the article, their income is devoured to such a large extent by usurious med school loan repayments, malpractice insurance premiums, professional continuing education training expenses, and God knows what else that taking kickbacks from the pharma-industrial complex is probably the only real way for them to supplement their income to the point where they meet expenses.

    I am also absolutely convinced that America’s medical schools, like every other institution of higher “learning” in this country, are being systematically dumbed down. This must be done in order to accommodate the functionally illiterate refuse of the public school system that is destroying every other profession in the nation. Consider also that medical schools are under the same intense pressure as other institutions to comply with affirmative action diktats (read: quotas) and admit people from preferred racial, ethnic, and social demographic groups who would otherwise never be considered qualified for admission. All of this, taken together with the unfolding fiscal disaster that is the inevitable result of the health care profession’s capture by lawyers and accountants, equals a system that should have collapsed long ago.

    As far as medical tourism is concerned, I would like to think that this represents the wave of the future as long as Amerika continues on its present course. Unfortunately, this won’t be realistic after the dollar collapses. Unless most Amerikans have large quantities of silver, gold, or other tangible substances of value with which to trade abroad in exchange for medical care, I don’t think medical tourism will be a realistic option for very many people.

  • ER Doc

    I have been an ER doc for 15 years. The amount of headaches over that time have increased greatly. I am definitely one of the group that plans to retire or change my practice. I have a much better time when I go to Africa and treat patients than I do at home with the system we have.

    For those that want to complain about the amount of money doctors get paid, let me ask you a question. What would it take for you to work very hard through high school and college, saying no to fun things in order to get good grades, go to medical school where you will work 80-100 hours per week studying while racking up $120,000 in debt, to go to residency for 4 years where I got paid less than $6/hour and was never home because I was at the hospital, to finally finish and get a job at age 30, a job that demands a huge amount of your time and personal sacrifice, huge malpractice premiums, and now increasing governmental intrusion? Oh yeah, if you get a needle stick, then you can potentially catch a fatal disease.

    Please don’t get me wrong. I love taking care of people, but at some point the system squishes out any fun or fulfillment.

  • Randome-11

    “Our health care system is messed up beyond all recognition. In America, we pay much more for health care than anyone else in the world and what we get in return is a system that is literally falling to pieces.”

    How to solve this? The fatcats and rotten bureaucrats responsible needs to be rounded up and sent to labour camps in Alaska.
    Jobs americans won´t do? As Mao did, send the plutocrats to do them, picking up oranges or cotton.

  • rick

    Nothing in America works. We’ve known for quite some time. We decided to ignore it because it was someone elses problem. Well guess what? Our problems have gotten much worse and more plentiful. America needs an overhaul.

    Wake up America. It’s time to regroup and to rebuild.

    JOIN THE REVOLUTION
    Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )

    We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News

  • Jamila

    yes you are absolutely Wright, with the doctor shortage in the future. But the sad part of it is that there is so little and less residency training position for medical graduates.I am a foreign medical graduates from Germany and have many years working experience as a physician there. I am US citizen and living in US but can not practice medicine even after getting all my USMLE examination and getting my ECFMG certificates, because there are only few residency position in every hospital …….So it was time westing preparing for the residency and getting ECFMG certificates.

  • Fed Up

    Learn to speak Spanish– then tell the hospital (in Spanish) that you are here from Mexico. Everything will be free.

  • Kevin

    The AMA tends to hold back qualified applicants to Medical School. I know of two cases personally where the applicant was not accepted in any US Medical School and went out of the country. These too went to Mexico and Granada (yes one was there for the US invasion). Both came back to the US got board certified and one is an OBGYN Department head. Obviously both were well qualified.

    It’s funny how so many physicians children become physicians.

  • bobcat

    Any time I hear talk of a shortage, my quick retort is shortage at what price? Doctors are being undercut in their private practices by corporate clinics. They are being turned into wage slaves. The voluminous paperwork required by Medicare has caused them to either have to hire people to do this paperwork or turn away Medicare patients. Malpractice insurance is a huge business expense. Add to this the arduous training and long hours. It’s little wonder many would be doctors are discouraged.

  • http://www.planorperish.com/ Gutter Economist

    There is already a shortage of doctors in the USA. 50,000 foreign doctors currently work here and most of them are from India.

    After the Flexner Report in 1910 which was financed by the Carnegie Foundation and strongly supported by the AMA, many medical schools were closed and the number of doctors was drastically reduced. The motivation was to close down medical schools that catered to women, minorities, and especially homeopathy. These changes were designed to protect the income of doctors, promote allopathic medicine, and prevent natural cures or homeopathic medicine.

    If the objective of health care was changed from disease maintenance to disease prevention, there would be a surplus of doctors.

    In addition, there is no need for students to obtain a 4 year college degree before entering medical school.

    Health care is another fine example of our incompetent government.

  • michelle

    I am very blessed to have a good doctor. I am even more blessed to have good health. I rarely see my doctor. I do not get “routine” blood screenings, etc. I see no reason to look for trouble. If you eat healthy, maintain a proper weight, and exercise sufficiently, along with other health safeguards (don’t trust the govt on radiation levels BTW)- you don’t need a doctor except for in an emergency situation, such as a physical injury such as a car accident. If I ever need this, I will definitely be happy if there is a surgeon who can put me back together, if not, I die or heal deformed…

    I do not want prescriptions to mask symptoms, I want health. I think everyone should want this. I feel that many are too lazy or ignorant to take responsibility for their own health. They want a pill or a surgery. They find talking about their health issues to be interesting to others, evidently. Many seem to have little else to talk about other than what they watch on television, which is one of the main reasons people are sick. Sitting on your butt watching commercials for junk food, which you then go buy, and consume, is not healthy.

    Add to that the commercials for drugs you can take for vague symptoms that now are defining some “syndrome”. Go to your doctor, ask for it by name, and you have over a 90% chance of leaving with a prescription for said drug.

  • http://www.pathtoasia.com rhea

    One of the major reasons there is a shortage of primary care providers (MDs, NPs, PAs) is because economic incentives have been driving students in the health care fields toward higher-paid specialties for a long time. There was never a complementary movement to ensure that additional professionals be trained to meet the demand for primary care. This is, more broadly, a function of our decentralized, fragmented approach to delivering health care for our people.

    Hate applying to jobs? Let us do it for you. Human job search assistant – http://www.jobwaltz.com

  • http://www.no2foreclosures.info DaVid

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Cancer was CURED in 1929 and then some! Read the book called “Politics of Healing” by Daniel Haley and learn the other 8 cancer CURES that have been destroyed and/or banned by the FDA and AMA: http://politicsinhealing.com/

    Malaria is cured in 4 hours by something called MMS or Miracle Mineral Supplement that costs $20 and now the FDA (********* Death Admin) is trying to ban it! http://www.miraclemineral.org/

    The United States is a Ponzi Scheme at ALL levels on the top: finances, military, medicine, seeds from hell, etc.

    • AmusedDoc

      These off-topic comments about naturopathic “cures” are amusing. They are also insulting. Not to me, even though I am a physician who has actually studied these topics in depth. They’re insulting to the millions of patients who are suffering and dying from things like cancer.

      - If they only knew how simple cancer was!! It can easily be cured by diet and vitamins!! They should have read my blog!! They should have eaten more peas!! If they had, they would be alive and feeling great today!! And all those medical researchers who dedicate their careers to studying a disease are just idiots!! All they needed to do was read an online post from earthclinic.com and they would understand everything so much more clearly!! –

      I get irritated when people elude to medical science as more closed-minded then things such as holistic medicine. I see it as exactly the opposite – the entire point of science is the admission that we don’t know all the answers and don’t want to jump to conclusions. Anyone can say anything they want: “toadstools cure HIV”, “asparagus stops gout”, “the sun revolves around the earth”. Science then says “Whoa, wait a minute… Lets actually test these things and see if there’s any validity to them”. People who tout “cures” to complicated diseases through some sort of untested treatment are simply closed-minded and uninformed.

      Oh, and our healthcare system is very flawed (to get back on topic).

  • sick of it all

    I work in the physical therapy field. We to have to deal with doing a lot of pointless, useless documentation, putting the same data in 6 different places in overly detailed, dumbed down info. Rebecca is right on target with her comments. I wish I could leave health care altogether. I can’t wait until I can either retire or the economy totally collapses so I don’t have to deal with the crap anymore. The system has totally taken out any love I had about working in the health care industry. The economic & goverment collapse will be my entertainment.

  • Craig

    I am a doctorate level clinical psychologist. Before going to graduate school I worked in the computer field in the corporate world for 10 years. I have as many years of graduate education and training as a physician. My wife has her doctorate in psychology and is a full professor at a state university. TOGETHER we make about 75% of the average salary of a primary care physician – one of the lowest paid categories of physician.

    I work in a medical facility with medical doctors. I have to laugh at the report that “40 percent of all U.S. doctors plan to “retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care” at some point over the next three years.” What will they do?

    Except for corporate CEO’s, physician is the best paid class of job – period. There are no better paying or more satisfying class of jobs in such large numbers.

    The medical profession is an elite club. Many physicians had a parent who was a doctor and grew up in an upper middle class or just plain wealthy environment. They have a sense of entitlement that you would not believe. In my opinion, most could not make half of what they make as doctors if they had to compete in the real job market as something other than a physician.

    A single payer system would eliminate the insurance companies skimming 20% off the top, but the physicians fight anything that they believe will lessen their incomes. While they generally care about their individual patients, as a class, they have little understanding or concern for the average person’s inability to afford their overpriced health care. I don’t pity them at all, nor should you. Just do an Internet search of physician salaries.

    Physicians have a wonderful PR machine, and your article is an example of it.

    • M.D.

      Craig, you seem a bit bitter.

      It seems hard to compare the training of two careers, especially if you’ve never been through one of the trainings you are comparing yourself to. Sort of like saying “I just started a new exercise program, and its every bit as demanding as going through Marine boot camp”.

      I have an MD. The training for it is pretty rough; first getting into medical school which requires exceptional credentials (which were not just handed out to anyone who comes from a “just plain wealthy environment”), then getting through med school, then the 30hr shifts, the 100hr weeks, the IOUs to family for quality time. All of which was payed for with debt of over $200K. I don’t know how rough it is to be a clinical psychologist; I’ve never done it. But I do know that there is one thing that a medical doctor has to deal with that other care providers don’t. That is that “the buck stops here”. When all is said and done, its the MD who is responsible for giving the potentially lethal drug to a patient having a stroke, or find the hemmorhaging vessel and tie it off, or decide what chemotherapy to give. And we also have to live with the burden of the failures in a way that the non-decision makers will never have to. For that reason, yes, MDs do feel a bit entitled.

      For the record, I’m all for a single-payer system, even if it means my personal salary drops. I do, however, feel that having an above-average salary is something that MDs earn.

      I also have a feeling that most MDs would be able to do just fine if they “had to compete in the real job market”, as the work-ethic, intelligence, and skill-set needed to become an MD in the first place is probably more generalizable than you are making it out to be.

  • http://freefood2go.com Free Food 2Go

    We don’t have a ‘health care’ system, we have a ‘sick care’ system which treats problems instead of working to prevent them in the first place.

    The industry thrives on people being sick and the lobbyists will continue to remove natural solutions to increase the profits of the sick care corporations.

    David
    Free Food 2Go

  • http://moneycrisisgameplan.com David

    This is the reason why I invest in nutritional products and exercise regularly… so that I prevent problems and don’t have to go to the doctors.

    David
    Elevation Group

  • http://bayden.net Alexander Bayden

    We could “outsource” medical services. It could become cheaper and faster to buy a plane ticket to another country and see a doctor there than to see a doctor in the US. Another possibility are floating foreign hospitals off our shores. Neutral waters begin 3 miles from the coast. So if you live in a place like NYC, affordable medical care could be a boat-ride away. You think this is impossible? Russians have operated a ship that did eye surgery off the coast of Gibraltar.

  • john w

    Two years ago I was living and working in Kuwait. The cost of living is pretty much the same as in America – rent, clothing, movies, etc. are all pretty much the same price. Books are more expensive, food is a bit cheaper. While in Kuwait, I had a hernia that I hadn’t taken care of, and it became strangulated, which is an emergency.

    The hospital (private, not government) I went to was modern, comfortable, beautiful- more like a hotel than a hospital. I had a quick diagnosis, emergency surgery, and then spent two nights in the hospital. The care I received was on par with the care that is given in some of the more pleasant American hospitals. Total bill, including all medications and a follow up visit several days after being discharged – $2,800. In America it would have been at least $10,000 and probably more.

    We really need some type of Obamacare in the US. What congress recently passed is not Obamacare -it doesn’t even remotely resemble what was proposed by Obama’s administration. Republicans and some Democrats made sure that what was passed was nothing like the original proposal. The recently passed legislation could be more accurately called the Big-Medicine-Please-Buy-My-Vote-And-I-Will-Make-Sure-You-Can-Keep-Screwing-My-Constituents-Care.

    The entire developed world outside the US has “socialized” medical care. It is far cheaper than medical care in the US and people in those countries are healthier and live longer than Americans.

  • john w

    By the way – we will never have a doctor shortage. There are tens of thousands of foreign doctors who are just as good as American trained ones and who would come to America at the drop of a pin. If a doctor shortage develops, the government (from either side of the aisle) will undoubtedly make it easy for them to get work visas or green cards. I am not saying that this is the best solution, just that there is no great danger of not having enough doctors – unless of course the US continues to decline to such a point that nobody wants to live there.

  • John Dillinger

    Yeah Right.
    I heard it from all the docs. I’ll quit if we have Obamacare.
    BS
    I know one GP who sees an average of 100 Medicare Patients daily.
    At $55.00 per pop you do the math.
    And now they will have more patients with “Obamacare”.
    The U.S. is not collectively intelligent enough to realize when they are being screwed.
    And long lines?
    I would rather stand in a long line than to have no line to stand in at all.

  • Wm McBride

    I’m a family doc, let’s do the math. I can’t go through their med list in the 4 minutes that 100 pt’s per day would give me with each patient. A very busy day for me is 30 pt’s per day. That doesn’t count time for hospital rounds, emergencies, and 5-10 phone calls between every pt. That is 12-14 hours every day. On my day off I spend 8 hours doing paperwork. It used to take 2 hours. My overhead has increased from 48% to 60% in 20 years. My wife does the billing till 2 in the morning. My reimbursement has gone down over 20 years. Malpractice has tripled.I love what I do, it’s just getting harder. I’ve told my children to do something else.

  • M

    ER Doc
    May 3rd, 2011 at 6:57 pm
    I have been an ER doc for 15 years. The amount of headaches over that time have increased greatly. I am definitely one of the group that plans to retire or change my practice. I have a much better time when I go to Africa and treat patients than I do at home with the system we have.

    For those that want to complain about the amount of money doctors get paid, let me ask you a question. What would it take for you to work very hard through high school and college, saying no to fun things in order to get good grades, go to medical school where you will work 80-100 hours per week studying while racking up $120,000 in debt, to go to residency for 4 years where I got paid less than $6/hour and was never home because I was at the hospital, to finally finish and get a job at age 30, a job that demands a huge amount of your time and personal sacrifice, huge malpractice premiums, and now increasing governmental intrusion? Oh yeah, if you get a needle stick, then you can potentially catch a fatal disease.”

    I couldn’t tell ya , making careful consideration the ability to do simple math has served me well over the years. All the same consequences of my actions are what they are . Being an adult I live and learn with my decisions. As opposed to crying behind the couch like a bitch dog that just peed on the carpet.

    The fossil fuel powered health care system is on its way to the scene of the crash. 200 , 300 , 400 , 500 a barrel oil is going to see too that.
    So whats your plan ? Bet you do not have one and are in reality just another clueless eater with 5 days of food in your cupboard. I may die without doctoring , you and 98 % or of current medical workers are definitely going too starve ).

  • TMathews

    Currantly, I’m fortunate to have my medical ins. paid for through my job. But to trust that this will continue would be false security, and the job isn’t worth keeping to keep the benefits.( Even though I’m approaching an age when things usually start going wrong.) I agree that the government and FDA, control our doctors to the point that they wonder why they are doctors, and they are controled in what they are trained in and that is to continue to feed the Pharma monster. (and I say that without exageration) I lost my son to the Pharma monster and there was nothing I could do about it. If you refused the prescribed treatment,you would be held negligent, but following the treatment was causing more suffering and wasn’t fixing anything, and the only way he saw out was suicide (one of the side effects that was hidden from the doctors so the company could get their investment returns). Once you discover what’s going on it’s too late and to hold them accountable is next to impossible for the little guy. All they have to do is close down and open up under a new name, or be required to add another sympton on the label for a disclaimer.) This side effect killed thousands of our youth.
    I began taking responsibility for my own health and for my family. If something is going wrong with your body, it’s usually from a long term deficiency, or toxicity, or both. 90% of our health problems come from poor diet and lifestyle. Go to the root cause ,avoid unnatural toxic foods, and apply the natural ingredients to heal,(which includes cancer.) and just carry accident insurance. The money you would spend in full coverage medical, apply in silver and gold and go to holistic doctors first before going to the conventional doctors.
    I feel 20 years younger already.

  • MD

    Thank you for a pretty good summary of the insanity of our healthcare system.

    I won’t leave medicine for two reasons: 1) At the age of 57, I paid off my student loans just 7 years ago and have no money to retire on. 2) I still find enough satisfaction in the work to outweigh the bureaucratic nightmare medicine has become.

    However, my 15 year old son has wanted to be a doctor since he was 5 years old, and I can no longer encourage this bright, big-hearted kid in that direction.

    The doctors of the future won’t be doctors, they will be nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

    I wouldn’t count on foreign doctors wanting to come here, when it’s pretty obvious this nation is falling apart.

  • MD

    Oh, and by the way, the average medical school student loan debt is now $250,000.

  • Jill

    The government, insurance companies and lawyers need to be regulated better. People take advantage of the programs out there that are meant for those who truly need it and deserve it. Insurance companies tell doctors what they can and can not do. Law suits have run costs up for insurance for physicians and and need to be capped. There are some legitimate cases that should be paid, but now people sue over anything and the lawyers encourage it. I work in health care and went into it for one reason to help the sick and injured. I love the satisfaction of helping someone get back to a productive life. Doctors are not the only shortage we face. Over 40% of nurses will retire within 10 years and there are not enough schools or instructors to train in new nurses… Health care should have been fixed 15 years ago, but it will take a collapse in order for anyone to pay attention…

  • http://www.mat-rodina.blogspot.com Stanislav

    In Russia, there is a two tier system: public health care for everyone and private health care for those with insurance and those who can afford it.

    For a full visit, that is a check up, and where you get to see the doctor for 1 hour, yes 1 HOUR, in a private clinic, the cost is $30.

    My wife takes a birth control, made in Denmark, same thing by the same company is made in the US. The cost of it, after importing it into Russia and paying tariffs, is $20. The cost in the US, what some of our friends told us, without insurance, is $80.

    Americans are being raped every day. Try medical tourism, especially for major illnesses.

  • TD

    Seems a lot of non-docs have strong uninformed opinions. I have a MS in Engineering and not a doc, so let me offer my outsider opinion as well. While I worked hard to get a masters in eng, I truly respect the extraordinary hard work put in by MD’s. American docs are the best trained which is why foreigners want to train here so they can hang that USA med school diploma on their shingle. They just dont want to practice here because of the gov and lawyer imposed ankle weights.

    Get gov out of health care totally and free market will clean itself up. Overhaul FDA–that’s just one constraint and cost driver that other countries don’t have which raises costs up and down the health system chain.
    As for the so called medical tourists,, I suspect 2x or more come to USA for treatment for every one going outside USA. Citing USA citizens going elsewhere for treatment seems a false statistic, especailly when you factor in many of those going elsewhere pursue “Last hope” type cures.
    I smile when I read that “Canada costs are cheaper, its’ just the long waits that are a hassle.” Unfortunately speed of service costs money in any business, including healthcare. Only difference is that speed in healthcare could be life or death. You choose. Embrace single payer system and say hello to longer waits.
    Docs are amongst our brightest, no profession has a more demanding education requirement, yet people seem to think they are overpaid. The entitlement mentallity is polutting our once strong country. Greed is not destroying USA, its the “Give me more than I give” culture.
    Wake-up America…..please.

  • Pingback: 15 Reasons Why The Obamacare Decision Is A Mind Blowing Disaster For America « AMERICAN WATCHMAN

  • DR Mehta

    This Whole scenario is very mis fortunate and system made.
    On one side Shortage of Doctors and on other side Thousands of
    Waiting to Get Residency and Struggling to be admitted as Students here and abroad.
    So many Qualified and experienced Physicians of this Country and from Abroad are not utilized and wasting their knowledge, skills and spirit of service. System to get License need some practical // humanist and Economic / Just change and approach. Sense of Business every where makes no SENSE . At Last this is Noble and Human Profession and solution should be that way without Political // Economic and business stuffs . God Bless.

    One Retired but not Tired Doctor

  • Doctor Rangel (IMG)

    The solution is Simple! Just Import More Foreign Physicians from Mexico! We’re Bilingual! We Work Harder! We work with patients from the start not with dolls like american students do! In Mexico we have an overpopulation of doctors! and most of us speak english fluently! and we’re already not getting well paid in our country so… that’s the best solution!

  • Kera

    I had a baby girl by C Section in April of this year. The bills keep coming in. It was funny at first, now it’s just ridiculous and scary. Before insurance, one of our bills was $10,000 – TEN THOUSAND dollars. Guess what it was for?… No, not the surgery, not the “immunization” that she NEVER even had… It was for the room. Yep, just the room.. The 3-day stay in a room that I needed to recover from major surgery in! I did not believe it. $10000? I still don’t. I still don’t understand HOW and WHY it would be so expensive. It makes no sense. Luckily, our insurance paid a TON of that bill but now we still have $600 being ripped out of our pockets and when you have a new baby, it isn’t like you have hundreds of dollars to hand out! And that’s just one bill. Next time I’m having a home birth with a doula/midwife. This is just ridiculous. It’s sad that we’re relying less and less on the hospitals that are supposed to save our lives. I’m planning to Major in Neuroscience but didn’t realize until now that the doctors have it just as hard. I still plan on being one.. But am realizing I might regret it later. 6 years of college, then 4 years of Med school.. Everything will pile up.

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