Forget Marcus Welby: Today’s docs want a real life

From the Denver Post:

“I want to have a balanced life that includes having time for my family,” she said.

She chose emergency medicine because the hours are more flexible than those of primary care doctors. That will allow her to work part-time in the ER and follow her other passions—teaching, research, writing and blogging about empowering patients to get the best medical care.

Former ER doctor finds she prefers wound care practice

From NewsOK:

Q: What led you to switch from emergency medicine to wound care?

A: I wanted to have more time with my kids after school, and at dinner and bed times. For the first two years, I worked part-time in emergency medicine in Guthrie, and part-time in wound care in Midwest City to try it out. I found that I loved the continuity of care in wound care. Working in the E.R. often was a thankless job. You could’ve saved someone’s life an hour earlier, and be cussed out for no coffee in the waiting room, a rude nurse or how long a visit took. Here, it’s not unusual for patients to come to us with a wound they’ve had for two years, or after being told by several doctors they need to lose their leg. The average heal rate is three months; four to six if there are complications. Patients come every week; sometimes daily. By the time they finally walk out of here, they’ve become like family, and they regard us as their heroes.

Boomers retiring to rural areas won’t find doctors

From KNOE:

There are several reasons boomers, the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, could face difficulties finding a doctor if they retire to small towns over the next 20 years.

First, many primary care doctors prefer to live and work in urban areas because of greater cultural opportunities, better schools and job opportunities for spouses.

Also, Medicare pays rural doctors less per procedure than urban physicians because their operating costs are supposedly less. That makes rural doctors less likely to accept Medicare patients.

With cuts to Medicare reimbursement for doctors targeted under the federal health care overhaul, the shortage is likely to get even worse, said Mark Pauly, professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania.

That is, unless increasing reimbursements for nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants encourages those providers to take up the slack, Pauly said.

If the Medicare cuts go through, “the doctors are saying: “We’re out of here,'” Pauly said. “The least they are saying is: ‘We’ll treat Medicare patients like we treat Medicaid patients,’ which is mostly not.”