Doctors Fear for Medicine’s Future

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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In a new national poll, doctors say they must now decide if they can continue practicing medicine in their patients’ best interest or bow to bureaucratically-set restrictions that take precedence over patient necessities. Another stark choice some doctors ponder is: Can I afford to quit medicine altogether? The language of respondents is stark and often angry.

The survey of 36,000 physicians by the Doctor Patient Medical Association Foundation (DPMAF), with a better than average return, revealed a most disturbing future for the health care of all Americans.

Doctors responded from 45 states. (130 didn’t identify their specific geographical location). Most (81 percent) were in small group practice. Most have been in practice for from 11 to 30 years. The survey, conducted by fax and online, was completed in June. Of those responding:

  • 90 percent say the medical system is “on the wrong track.”
  • 83 percent say they are “thinking about quitting.”
  • 61 percent said the system “challenges their ethics.”
  • 70 percent say “reducing government would be the single best fix.”

A Texas Orthopedist wrote, “I have been in practice 28 years and medicine is now the worst for doctors it has ever been.”  A Wisconsin anesthesiologist wrote, “I would not consider letting my teenagers become physicians.” A Kansas sports medicine doctor wrote: “Medicine is circling the drain. Heaven help us as we age.”

“I did not go to school for 25-plus years to be a computer programmer for the federal government,” testily responded a Florida ophthalmologist.

A Missouri physician concluded, “Medicine is no longer about treating and taking care of patients. I spend more time telling patients about additional paperwork they need to fill in.”

Two out of three surveyed answered that electronic medical records (EMR) [required by ObamaCare] compromise medical privacy and confidentiality. A neurologist from Missouri writes, “Electronic medical records…should not be connected to the outside world to avoid confidentiality abuse.” A Massachusetts psychiatrist added: “EMR has no place in psychiatric practice.”

A Florida endocrinologist branded ObamaCare as “a monstrous bill designed to give government COMPLETE control over our lives.” A New Hampshire doctor practicing internal medicine wrote: “Government gets away with rationing by making doctors the scapegoats that an ACO made a profit by skimping on care.” He referred to the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). They take up only seven pages of the massive Affordable Care Act. Yet they have become one of the most confusing provisions. This latest model for delivering services offers primary-care doctors and hospitals financial incentives to provide “quality” care (as defined by bureaucrats) to Medicare beneficiaries while clamping down on costs. It is one of the more controversial provisions of ObamaCare, among the 150 programs, agencies, and boards in the law.

One physician who separated himself as much as possible from government intrusion wrote happily: “I opted out of Medicare and Medicaid for 12 years now as an internal medicine practitioner. I have never been busier, deliver a high quality service, am financially secure, and cannot wait to go to work every day,” according to that Minnesota internist.

Doctors also scoff at declared cost-cutting tactics falsely promised by the Obama Administration. They are quite “unlikely to do so,” many said. “Only the free market will fix this mess,” wrote a Texas OB-GYN.

Two out of three physicians answering the survey say they are “just squeaking by or are losing money, and half expect that financial situation to worsen in the next five years. A Pennsylvania ophthalmologist wrote, “As a solo doc, I am being forced out of my practice by the bureaucracy…Those that suffer will be the patients.”

A Washington State family practitioner said: “I would be willing to do charity care weekly for the poor and uninsured if there was tort reform.”

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  • Spider

    This is just another reminder of the tragic mistake that is Obama.

  • Herbster

    I live in a suburb of a major Texas city. I've been calling around to find a new primary care physician. My questions for the doctor's office are, does the Dr. accept my insurance? Is the Dr. accepting new patients? etc.

    Most did accept my insurance, however, I received an answer from more than a few offices in reference to "New patients." The answer9s0 was as follows: "Yes, the doctor is accepting new patients, BUT, no one over the age of 60." Thank you, Mr. obambi. Questiion: If obamascamcare is so wonderful, why is congress "Exempt." They'll keep their own (Paid for by us) plans. And of course, muslims are exempt. WAKE UP and see your freedoms being eliminated. I'd write more, but there is a drone peering in my window…….

  • al222

    Americans are going to learn a terrible lesson: have health care insurance IS NOT the same as having health care itself

  • aleric_kong

    "I would be willing to do charity care weekly for the poor and uninsured if there was tort reform"

    Exactly what's wrong with federal intrusion into healthcare today:
    Fat Jerry Nadler comes in with back strain
    Doctor prescribes Ibruprofen
    Fatso's lap band breaks and fatso dies of a heart attack
    John Edwards performs a seance in front of a civil jury and takes the doctor's home and office
    Malpractice insurance premiums goes up $100,000 a year
    NBC and Showtime hire leftist writers who create drug addicts and homosexuals who dialogue about China and Cuba having better healthcare than the US.

  • clarespark

    I have two guest blogs from an Emergency Room doctor James Pagano, who has spelled out the consequences for emergency care if Obamacare stands. See http://clarespark.com/2012/07/09/james-pagano-m-d….

  • PaulRevereNow

    Obamacare is just plain disgusting. Read pages 15-17 of Edward Klein's book, "The Amateur." On these pages, Klein mentions Obama's personal physician of 22 years, Dr. David Sheiner.(I believe that's how he spells his name) Dr Sheiner rips into Obamacare, stating to the effect that the PPACA is a terrible plan; partly because it has no cost control mechanism. Obama obviously believes Americans don't deserve much, except maybe a tent on the prairie to live in, and a place to die. And he probably wouldn't be upset if most older Americans keeled over, and expired, without a whimper. GOD SAVE US if he is elected again.

    • johnsnare

      Obama care,is a Socialist dream come true. The government will tell us who should live, and who shall die. Death panels. This sounds like the age of Hitler reborn. Our Government, and Mr.Obama, know best. When the hell did the U>S> government do anything right.? Get this guy out of here. All those Obama supporters, who want the free stuff, should remember the old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Buyer beware.

  • PaulRevereNow

    ,,,and by the way, Dr. Sheiner is a left-leaning Democrat.

  • wsg

    If Obamacare is not repealed we will see a mass exodus of Docs. Those that do enter medicine we be less than the brightest and best because they will be willing slaves to the state. EVERY healthcare decision will be political. What was routine treatment now will become life and death and with that power who will oppose the state ? FREEDOM as we know it WILL VANISH !!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.villano.71 Mike Villano

    If the press corps wasn't a collection of false prophets, the public might have a chance to know that this legislative regulatory pile of trash will definitely drive doctors out of business or underground and get people killed.
    When that happens, you can count on the same false prophets to blame ANYTHING OTHER THAN their precious Obamacare.

  • Anamah

    For the first time in my entire adult life… I am scare to death, facing the last stage of my disease… in coincidence with these abussive politicians ruining our country.

  • Jim

    A MD I talked to said many other MDs he knew were just going to stop practicing medicine.

    I suggested they move to Canada and their American patients would follow. (Yes long trip)
    Or they could move to Mexico.

    We expect a Republican congress would be willing to modify Obama Care.

  • http://tarandfeathersusa.wordpress.com/ Iratus Vulgas

    I'm reminded of the Left's spurious claim that health care is a right. What happens when doctors refuse to continue practicing medicine? Are they then violating the civil rights of those who require medical attention? Will doctors have to be "drafted" into medical service? Sounds crazy perhaps, but totalitarian laws always sound over the top until they're implemented.

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