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Doctor Shortages Aren´t Just a Veterans Affairs
Problem. They´re a Nationwide Problem.

National Journal, by Marina Koren

Original Article

Posted By:MissMolly, 6/2/2014 5:42:09 AM

This week, an investigative report revealed that 1,700 veterans who wanted to see a doctor at a Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital were missing from an official waiting list, mirroring a tactic used at two dozen other facilities across the country to mask long waits for medical care. A few hundred other people are missing from the Veterans Affairs system, too: doctors. The Veterans Affairs Department is 400 doctors short, The New York Times reports. But the doctor deficit is not limited to the VA—it´s a nationwide problem. America is running out of doctors. The country will be 91,500 physicians short

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Jethro bo, 6/2/2014 6:35:44 AM     (No. 9869827)

In case anyone is wondering who the goobernment came up with cad on the number of resident training for doctors, ask Hitlery Clinton. It was her idea and law that put the caps in place because, according to Her Tighness, there were too many doctors and that was a problem to Hitlery. See, Hitlery hates the medical profession and has done all she can to destroy it.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Michaelus, 6/2/2014 7:21:13 AM     (No. 9869863)

We just gave a nice going away present to one of our doctors - retiring at age 61 - sick of the paperwork….

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Reply 3 - Posted by: shamus, 6/2/2014 7:37:58 AM     (No. 9869872)

Congress limits the number of residency positions available to train new doctors.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: grampus, 6/2/2014 8:18:54 AM     (No. 9869912)

Whoever is pushing vouchers so that vets can turn to local doctors if the VA wait time is too long must be ignorant of the fact that trying to get a first-time appointment with almost any doctor is either impossible (Dr. Smith is not seeing any new patiens.) or requires wait time similar to that of the VA.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Donna M, 6/2/2014 8:23:12 AM     (No. 9869920)

Nearly 50% of doctors are over the age of 50. Start going into the specialties and that % goes up. The gap is being filled by nurse-practitioners who are being churned out by the nursing schools--and why they are well-trained and pretty good they don´t and cannot have the clinical experience that a board-certified with 20 years doc has--and they tend to drop out for personal reasons or transfer to admin positions with advanced degrees. Sorry, but true--they don´t have the incentive to stay. That is why the push is on for clinical decision tools such as IBM Watson (being tested for oncology) and other health information tools advocated by technocrats like Vinod Khosla who maintains they will replace 80% of doctors (who is making a mint on his investments in health tech, BTW) but NONE of this is a reality now.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: flybynight, 6/2/2014 8:23:56 AM     (No. 9869923)

Rationing is the only way to afford national health care. You can ration it by fiat- this is what and who we will cover, tough luck, grandpa.
You can ration it by economic reality- that scan, that chemo, that surgery, will cost you $$$$$$. Up front. Tough luck, po folk.
You can ration it by inconvenience. Did somebody say waiting list? What waiting list?

But there is, and will always be rationing. Oddly, studies have shown beyond a doubt, more doctors means higher costs, more tests, more office visits, more hospital admissions.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: The Architect, 6/2/2014 8:25:09 AM     (No. 9869924)

The lack of doctors is primarily due to the fact that it costs too much to get a medical degree and, thanks to government regulation, you can no longer charge a decent fee for your services. Most Med students graduate with close to half a million in education loans. It takes them about fifteen years to pay that off. That puts them roughly at age 40. Throw on top of that the soaring cost of liability insurance and other overhead costs and they can no longer make a living commencerate with their efforts. Lawyers on the otherhand are doing quite well.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Donna M, 6/2/2014 8:29:04 AM     (No. 9869927)

My point above may not be 100% clear--we´re losing doctors to retirement and they are not being replaced. There´s a whole generation that wasn´t attracted to med school because financial services was so much more lucrative and attractive--lost that group. Even without Obamacare (which I was forced to take when my NJ individual plan, fully certified by the state DOBI and fairly comprehensive, was declared inadequate--without a peep from that fat slob RINO Christie) we were hitting a doctor shortage which will only get worse over the next 10-20 years. FYI I write about health technology so I have to stay up on this stuff.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: provide, 6/2/2014 8:45:13 AM     (No. 9869945)

We´ll fill the ranks with doctors from those Caribbean Wash Out medical schools.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: beancounter, 6/2/2014 9:32:45 AM     (No. 9869999)

I´m in the health care industry and I´m just not seeing the shortage. My medical group has been increasing the number of doctors at about 10% per year.

A large percentage of them are foreign: they went to school in India or China or the Philippines.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Rubinski, 6/2/2014 9:39:10 AM     (No. 9870011)

As a nurse practitioner, I can fill the gaps by being able to meet the needs of about 85% of the patients I see in my internal medicine practice. Furthermore, I know very well when they need to be referred to see a physician. This is an integral part of the NP´s training--to recognize when a patient needs to see a physician.

The patients I see feel the type of care I provide is of higher value to them as compared to a physician since I am able to spend more time with them. Though it´s true that this means that this type of patient self-selects my care, I also would say it comprises most of the patients that come to our clinic which also staffs physicians.

As an aside, I also have many former VA patients who vociferously complain about the poor quality of care provided by foreign doctors currently staffing some of the VA clinics.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: chillijilli, 6/2/2014 9:45:13 AM     (No. 9870018)

Tort reform.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Susannah, 6/2/2014 10:33:41 AM     (No. 9870068)

#11, Thanks very much for providing a perspective from the standpoint of a professional working in the field.

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Below, you will find ...

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DAYTON — Security will increase at a Dayton store where the owner fatally shot a teenager who, along with another suspect, was allegedly trying to rob the business at gunpoint Monday. The death of Isiah Haggins Jr., 16, of Trotwood, was officially ruled a homicide by the Montgomery County Coroner´s Office. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. Dayton police said the teen and another suspect entered the Step-N-Style store at 3217 W. Siebenthaler Ave. armed with guns and demanded cash. The store owner, who´s been robbed before, also had a gun and shot Haggins. The second suspect fled

   

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