Here is an article in the WSJ that is worth mentioning. I am displaying it all here because many can’t get to the link for free:
One likely factor in America’s outsized health care bill: the huge premium that specialists earn over general practitioners. A new study (in the journal Medical Care)estimated the lifetime earnings gap…and finds it to be gaping. Primary care doctors were projected to make roughly $3 million, for example, but oncologists might earn more than $7 million. Looking at practitioners in broad groups, the researchers found that surgeons out-earned primary care physicians by $1.6 million. Internal medicine and pediatric sub-specialties out-earned by $1.1 million. And other specialists averaged a $761,000 differential. These numbers may help explain why 67 percent of American physicians are specialists. It may also help explain why we spend far more on health care, as a proportion of GDP, than do comparable nations. Primary care physicians provide more cost-effective care, and having more of them could help combat the fragmented nature of care in the U.S. system. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of more than 65,000 primary care doctors by 2025. Researchers suggest medical compensation be restructured to narrow the pay gap and encourage more young doctors to become primary care physicians.
Personally, I do not believe that I, as a family doc, should get the same pay as a specialist. Well, most specialists. A neurosurgeon spends more years in residency getting his or her ass kicked to get to that level. I get that. We just need to narrow the pay gap. The country needs more primary care DOCTORS (emphasized on purpose) and that is the biggest way to foster that.