Physician’s Salary – What is It?

In this new era                      of specialists, it’s getting harder and harder to find a doctor with a family practice. You know him – he’s the guy from years gone by who took care of your kids and gave you a check up when you needed it as well. You knew him on a first name basis and his phone number was always written next to the refrigerator. If you’re lucky, this is not just a fond memory. But for many people these days, having a general primary physician is something they’ve never known.

Even in Massachusetts, which has the highest ratio of physicians to patients in the entire country, people are having a hard time finding one who is accepting new patients. Is this the reality of modern day insurance and health maintenance   Of course, the numbers aren’t terrible. Even in that state, a full 60 percent of physicians were still accepting new patients. But that still means a full 40 percent of physicians have closed their books, having filled up their slate. Where are the others? Where are the new physicians, having completed their residencies and ready to set up their shop?

The problem is that many young physicians are choosing to go into  , rather than become primary care physicians. The national average percentage of specialists has risen to 64% in recent years, and the number is expected to continue climbing. Part of the issue is money. There is often a higher potential for a big salary in some of the   and this can look especially attractive to an individual who is probably going to be carrying around some massive student loans for the first half of his or her career. The other issue is the insurance companies. Without some major reform, students are going to continue avoiding the primary care field. The job entails enormous amounts of paperwork and red tape and few see any remedy for that in the new health care reforms coming down the pike.

So is this the end of the road for a Dr Family Practice? With hospitals taking over control of much of the emergency care and insurance companies causing the decline of new students going into the field, it very well could be. This is a shame, not just for nostalgic reasons but because the primary care physician is important for preventative medicine. Without them, people go to the doctor only when they are sick. This creates an additional burden on the health care industry. It’s not difficult to see that something needs to change.

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