One of the most challenging professions one can embark upon is medicine. Years of extensive education, a lot of tuition, and related costs come before intensive residencies with long hours, and notices of student loans payments beginning to come soon after the residency begins. The objective, of course, is that your hours of sleepless nights, foregone social engagements, and all the time and money invested will be rewarded, with a sense of pride in a noble profession, and with a successful work-life balance.
Why, then, is the interest in becoming a doctor declining? The Association of American Medical Colleges predicted that by the year 2032 the United States is going to see a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians. The projected shortfall from the past ranged from 49,000 to 121,900.
Our nation’s population is growing, but we are also aging. As we address health goals as a nation, such as the reduction of obesity or tobacco usage, the longevity of American’s lives will extend. Even with the digital transformation of the healthcare industry, the nation’s shortage of doctors is getting more real and the significance is becoming imperative.
The report The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2017-2032 includes refined and updated scenarios (this is the fifth annual study) based on stakeholders’ input and new modeling that covers the crucial impact of the healthcare delivery trends on current and impending shortage of doctors.
The key finding of the report are as follows:
· The major factor that is increasing the demand for physicians is still a population that continues to grow and age. Our population is predicted to grow by more than 10% by 2032. 48% of these Americans will be over age 65. This population of aging Americans will affect physician supply because a third of the doctors that are currently practicing will be older than 65 within the next decade. When these doctors go into retirement, there will be a huge impact on the supply of healthcare delivery clinicians.
· The supply of PAs and APRNs is increasing. The report offers a mode of these professionals’ role in the industry. There is more research needed to determine the exact services that they offer and when (if it all) they will become saturated.
· Health care delivery trends that are designed to improve the health of our nation do not have any effect on the projection of doctor shortage. The efforts to improve the entire population’s health has shown only a 1% impact on the projection of physician shortages.
· If the health care usage patterns get equalized demographically the US needs an additional 95,900 doctors immediately.
· Rural areas and historically underserved areas are likely to feel the brunt of the shortages more but the need for doctors will be felt nationally.
In order to meet the demand for physicians will need to increase drastically. The worsening doctor drought seems to be currently driven by a few things. Young people are not as interested in the pursuit of medical careers with the focus on the rising popularity of STEM jobs. There are more young people choosing engineering over medicine. Young people do not want to have to struggle when they finish school. They want to live in urban locations where things are happening. This is not realistic for most residents.
More troubling: the Americans who are deciding to part ways with their medical degree and go another direction. It’s the folks who have gone through all that education to become a doctor and decided to opt for another path that are also having an impact on the doctor drought.
An unfortunate reality is there are med school graduates that have a hard time finding a residency within a time period that is reasonable. Graduating from medical school does not mean you are guaranteed a residency. There aren’t enough residencies for all the medical grads, creating a group who have an MD but have never practiced. It’s somewhat of a bottleneck effect.
Compounding the issue is the fact that doctors are retiring earlier than before. Some are blaming EHRs for this, especially the doctors that are in the later stages of their career who can sometimes feel uncomfortable with learning a computer system that can be less than user-friendly.
Stanford Medicine reported that a group of physicians gave EHR a score of 45 out of 100 for usability. The study conducted by Mayo Clinic Proceedings showed Google at the top of the scale, with Microsoft Excel toward the bottom, followed by electronic health records. Doctors giving EHRs an “F” is an indication that this cannot be denied being a contributing factor to physician burnout. Thus, the number of doctors who are leaving medicine because the cons are beginning to far outweigh the pros is growing.
If you are a physician feeling this burnout, consider Vohra Wound Care as an alternative. Founded in 2000, Vohra Wound Physicians is currently the largest wound care specialty group that is focused on the post-acute market. With the usage of leading-edge technology, Vohra fulfills their mission of delivering improved wound healing to our nation’s patients and beyond.
Vohra physicians treat patients where they are: in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and long-term acute care centers. There are more than 270 wound care specialists practicing in 27 states, treating thousands of patients every day.
How can Vohra spare you from burnout? As a Vohra physician, you would be supported by proprietary technology and a specialist on-going training. Their model delivers better results that are proven by a 21-day improvement in their patient’s healing time and an 88% reduction in wound-related hospitalization.
As a wound care specialist at Vohra Wound Care, you oversee your schedule. You have the flexibility to enjoy your life and feel like you are more than a cog in the wheel. Administrative tasks are handled and there is no need to feel as though you are more a scribe than a healthcare provider.
Allow Vohra Wound Care to give you the opportunity to be bedside with your patient and feel the fulfillment of being a doctor again. You don’t need to change your career or retire early; you can simply switch your path and find nobility and prestige in your profession again, along with some peace and enjoyment in your career choice.