A recent survey of 12,000 general practice physicians found that 60 percent of them feel they're overworked, are planning on quitting or cutting back their hours, and that they would not recommend medicine as a career.
I get it -- I too feel tired and overworked -- but I would not go as far as to say that I don't recommend medicine as a career. Medicine, to me, is an art. I just wish I could practice it with less bureaucracy. One of the most common complaints I get from physicians, nurses and general medical personnel, is the tremendous amount of paperwork that is required in today's heavily regulated industry. Many people would argue that physicians brought this upon themselves, that all this regulation was necessary to make sure safety standards grew and that patients' bill of rights were protected.
So I asked some of my friends in the healthcare field: "Would President-elect Obama bring good news for our healthcare system?" And the most frequent answer I got was, "We don't know."
I believe some of my peers feel that there are so many priorities for our new government, healthcare may take a backseat.
So then I asked them, "How would you advise our new president-elect with regard to some of the doctor dissatisfaction survey results?"
Here's a compilation of their wish list:
1. Malpractice reform
2. Significantly reduce the cost of medical education
3. Educate the consumer to create realistic expectations on what the healthcare system can provide
4. Decrease bureaucracy
Let's face it, there are many choices President-elect Obama can make. But unfortunately, with the state of the economy being a top priority, his resources are limited and his agenda is yet to be seen. So I guess as physicians, we just have to continue to create innovative ways to save the American healthcare system. But one thing is for sure -- I still dream of my little girl being a doctor one day.