A new survey by Merritt Hawkins shows the following:
- The majority of the 17,236 physicians surveyed (54%) describe their morale as somewhat or very negative, 63% are pessimistic about the future of the medical profession, 49% always or often experience feelings of burn-out, and 49% would not recommend medicine as a career to their children, according to the survey.
- They spend 21% of their time on non-clinical paper work duties, according to the survey, while only 14% said they have the time they need to provide the highest standards of care.
- About two-thirds (72%) said third-party intrusions detract from the quality of care.
- A growing number of physicians (13.5%) said they will seek non-clinical, administrative jobs, 21% will cut back on hours worked, 11.5% will take temporary (locum tenens) positions, 10% will switch to part-time practice, 14% will retire, and 9% said they will switch to concierge medicine.
- While 36% of physicians participate in accountable care organizations (ACOs), only 11% believe ACOs are likely to enhance quality while decreasing costs. Physicians also are dubious about hospital employment of doctors, another mechanism for achieving healthcare reform.
- Two-thirds (66%) do not believe hospital employment will enhance quality of care or decrease costs. Even 50% of physicians who are themselves employed by hospitals, do not see hospital employment as a positive trend.
- 80% of physicians are overextended or are at capacity, with no time to see additional patients
- 48% of physicians said their time with patients is always or often limited
- 46.8% of physicians plan to accelerate their retirement plans
To summarize, I would like to sarcastically quote Freddie Prinze and say “Looooooking good!!!”