Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doctor deficiency?

According to a recent America OnLine article, it was revealed that American doctors are beginning to work fewer hours per week, while also taking a salary cut.

This idea interests me for a number of reasons. During a public health class I took last semester, Introduction to the United States Health Care Service, I learned that there is a surplus of students interested in becoming specialists in the field of medicine, as opposed to those who want to become general physicians. Becoming a specialist means attending medical school for a longer period of time and dealing with patients who all have similar ailments. For example, a dermatologist is a doctor who looks only at patients with skin problems or diseases. With the responsibility, specialists also are rewarded with much higher salaries, and are held in high demand.

However, this is triggering a shortage in the amount of medical school students who show an interest in becoming a general physician. General doctors are implemented to act as gatekeepers for the rest of the medical field; patients make an appointment with their primary care physician, and then go on to see a specialist if need. While one would think that this would cause an increase in the hours of work for general doctors, it seems that Americans are instead relying more on the diagnoses of specialists.

No comments:

Post a Comment