December 20, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
In 2012, the New York Times reported that America was short almost 9,000 Primary-Care Physicians. That number is expected to have gone up drastically since then as more are being let go or choosing to let go voluntarily. This shortage is expected to grow even more acute in the next 15 years, with a projected shortfall of an estimated 65,000 doctors. These are family doctors, general internists, general pediatricians and geriatricians – the doctors who diagnose new illnesses, manage chronic ones, advocate preventive care and protect wellness.
Take a look at some of the most compelling reasons why choosing to become a primary care physician in the US today is an excellent idea.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the demand for family physicians in the USA is expected to exceed the supply by the year 2020. In such a scenario, the demand for primary-care physicians is expected to grow exponentially as the shortage worsens. This means you are never going to be out of a job for a long time to come.
For a long time, one of the main reasons why this specialty was often featured last on the list of most preferred fields for med students was the low wages associated with it. A lot has changed in recent years though. According to a report published by a reputed medical magazine lately, the average earnings for primary-care physicians shot up by about 5.2%, which is a faster rise than those of other specialists.
Moreover, primary-care physicians working in underserved regions enjoy handsome tax benefit incentives with Medicare currently providing a 10 % bonus payment.
In the past, many people would only go to hospital emergency rooms when they got sick instead of seeing a regular doctor. All of this is expected to change as of January 1, 2014 when the Obamacare insurance plans or the Affordable Care Act comes into effect and the newly insured start seeking care. Many authorities project that the growing patient demand for services could cause the health care system to crash. The newly insured will all need Primary-Care Providers.
The practice of primary care medicine is not easy. In fact, it is often characterized as one of the most challenging careers within the field of medicine. Despite this, the immense personal satisfaction and pleasure that is derived from successful patient care is what often drives future PCPs into the field.