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No Doctors, It Will Get Worse

334,000 clinicians left the workforce in 2021 including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other clinicians, according to a report from commercial intelligence company Definitive Healthcare.

America already trails most countries in doctors per capita. As of 2019, the U.S. average was 2.64 doctors per 1,000 citizens compared with the global average of 3.37 ( 22% less than the average).

According to an August 2022 survey of physicians and healthcare administrators, more than 4 in 10 Doctors (41%) considered leaving the practice of medicine and more than one-third (36%) considered early retirement.

Doctors Are Not Getting Proper Support

According to a Bain and Company survey around 40% of all clinicians surveyed say they don’t have the resources they need to operate at full potential. They report a lack of effective processes and workflows, supplies and equipment. And 59% don’t believe their teams are adequately staffed.

Clinicians' dissatisfaction is illustrated by drastically dropping Net Promoter Scores (NPS), a measure of their likelihood to recommend their employer. U.S. physicians’ NPS dropped 17 points from 36 points in 2020 to 19 points

Too Bad for Patient

The result, predictably, is that the patient loses. Monthlong waits to see a primary care physician, rushed appointments, increasing costs taking money out of patient paychecks, and rising copays add up to frustration with the health care system.

Gone are leisurely discussions with patients aimed at pinpointing root causes of health issues. Now, there are corporate RVU goals, patient quotas and productivity spreadsheets. Time for patients is spent instead with electronic health record screens, administrative paperwork and computer systems that often cannot communicate across departments, let alone across the street.

We still have more than 95 million patients in the U.S. (who) lack access to primary care … and we have this growing need of chronic health conditions that need to be addressed, from diabetes to obesity.

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