The Physicians Foundation has compiled a survey of America’s Physicians to examine professional morale, practice patterns and perspectives on today’s physicians. The results have been aggregated by age, gender, primary care vs. specialist and practice owners vs. employees (or hospital-based practitioners).
The survey was sent to over 630,000 physicians (over 80% of physicians in active patient care) and 13,575 physicians responded.
Responses to the survey combined with some 8,000 written comments submitted by physicians reflect a high level of disillusionment among doctors regarding the medical practice environment and the current state of the healthcare system. How physicians will respond to ongoing changes now transforming healthcare delivery varies. Many physicians plan to continue practicing the way they are, but over half of physicians surveyed have reached a tipping point and plan to make changes to their practices. Many intend to take one or more steps likely to reduce patient access to their services, limiting physician availability at a time when doctors already are in short supply.
Key findings of the survey include:
- Over 84% of physicians agree that the medical profession is in decline.
- 57.9% would not recommend medicine as a career to their children or other young people.
- Over one third of physicians would not choose medicine if they had their careers to do over.
- Physicians are working 5.9% fewer hours than they did in 2008, resulting in a loss of 44,250 FTEs from the physician workforce.
- Physicians are seeing 16.6% fewer patients per day than they did in 2008, a decline that could lead to tens of millions of fewer patients seen per year.
- Over 59% of physicians indicate passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. health reform) has made them less positive about the future of healthcare in America.
- Close to 92% of physicians are unsure where the health system will be or how they will fit into it three to five years from now.
Physicians are working fewer hours on average and seeing fewer patients than four years ago. If these patterns continue, over 44,250 full-time-equivalent (FTE) physicians could be lost from the workforce in the next four years.
Survey respondents share some of the characteristics of the population of all practicing physicians but are different in several ways:
- The physicians sample is disproportionately older than the national population, with the sampled physicians plausibly experiencing profound changes in the medical practice environment during the course of their careers.
- The sample is also significantly more male and rural than the total physician population, and is more likely than the population to operate a solo practice or be an AMA member.
The survey clearly shows a pattern of older physicians, practice owners, specialists and male physicians being more pessimistic about the medical profession and in general more negative about the current state the healthcare system than are younger physicians, employed physicians, female physicians and primary care physicians.
Affordable Care Act,
Survey of America's Physicians,
The Physicians Foundation
Re-posted from Yahoo News:
Belluck & Fox,
Dr. Harvey Pass,
nCounter Analysis System,
NYU Langone Medical Center,
NYU School of Medicine,
After months of deliberation, a controversial study from the Netherlands examining how the H5N1 virus - also known as avian influenza or bird flu, could be genetically altered and transmitted by mammals as an airborne pathogen was published last week. The paper was completed in 2011, but because of widespread concerns that bioterrorists could use this information to engineer a weapon, the findings were not published until now.
Avian flu affects several types of birds, including farmed poultry (chickens, geese, turkeys and ducks). Bird flu can also be transmitted from livestock to wild birds and also to pet birds, and vice-versa. The virus spreads through infected birds, via their saliva, nasal secretions, feces, and feed.
The first avian influenza virus to infect humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997 and was linked to infected chickens.
Human cases of H5N1 have since been reported in Asia, Africa, Europe, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Pacific, and the near East. Since 2003, nearly 60% of the 606 cases of human infection of H5N1 reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) worldwide, have resulted in death.
Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Su,
Global Health Blog,
Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disea,
National Institute of Health,
World Health Organization (WHO)
Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland led by Professor Juhu Rouvinen, in cooperation with Professors Kristiina Takkinen and Hans Söderlun from VTT, a technical research center in Finland, discovered unique IgE‐binding structures in allergens. They say these structures can be genetically modified so they do not bind IgE anymore, but they can still induce the production of the immunoglobulin G (IgG). IgG protects you from allergic symptoms by actually prohibiting the formation of IgE-allergen complexes and could, in theory, prevent the degranulation and histamine release from white blood cells. The modified allergens are produced using modern molecular biology and biotechnology.
Patients will hypothetically develop a natural immunity against each allergy they have been vaccinated for in the same manner immunity is created against infectious diseases with vaccinations.
“Histamines are not the solution because they only inhibit or lesson the allergy so you still have the allergy. We believe that curing allergies is about changing or modifying the genetic structure of the allergen molecules inside of your body, so we want to eliminate the cause of the allergy, instead of removing symptoms.” said Rouvinen.
According to the National Institute of Health, An allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful. The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. It also reacts to foreign substances called allergens, which are generally harmless and in most people do not cause a problem. But in a person with allergies, the immune response is oversensitive. When it recognizes an allergen, it releases chemicals such as histamines. which fight off the allergen. This causes allergy symptoms.
In the United States, 65 million people have some type of allergy:
- 56% percent are allergic to grasses and pollen
- 39% are allergic to cat and dog dander
- 10% have some type of food allergy
Instances of seasonal allergies are on the up-swing, primarily for environmental reasons.
"The seasons are getting longer—they're starting earlier and pollens are getting released earlier," says Dr. Stanley Fineman, president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and an allergist at the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic. "And not only is there warmer weather, there tends to be more CO2 in atmosphere."
Dr. Stanley Fineman,
European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunolog,
National Institute of Health (NIH),
Professor Juhu Rouvinen,
University of Eastern Finland,
Re-posted from Medical Billing & Coding
In 2006, Pew Research Forum discovered that 80% of American adults used the Internet to research medical information. By 2011, data (separately) compiled by Frost and Sullivan and QuantiaMD showed between 87% to 90% of physicians used at least one social media site for personal reasons, with a further 67% to 75% opting for more professional postings. LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogging, and the like stand poised to change the face of healthcare in the exact same manner it pretty much did for most other industries. Medical professionals — not just doctors — have discovered some creative (and not-so-creative) ways to apply the technology to many different aspects of their field, meaning savvy, Internet-literate patients should stay on the lookout for what might lay ahead.
1. Better information & Support
PatientsLikeMe serves as a social media site for individuals with various conditions to connect and share their experiences and treatment options that work and do not work for them. As the site grows, so too does participants’ knowledge of what’s happening to their bodies, making it easier for them to communicate with their doctors about possible treatments, rare and common symptoms, and more. In addition, banding together with others in their situation offers necessary comfort and understanding patients might not necessarily receive from even the most well-meaning loved one.
2. Greater Risk of Compromised Confidentiality
Don’t panic; the vast majority of doctors probably won’t be Alexandra Thran, a Rhode Island physician fined for posting enough information online for readers to recognize her patient. All the same, though, savvy consumers should pay attention to their new and old doctors’ Internet presence for signs of breaking confidentiality. The threat might be minimal, but that doesn’t mean patients should grow complacent when it comes to their health and safety.
3. More Balanced Drug Information
In order to counterbalance Big Pharma’s massive social media presence, doctors such as immunologist and allergist Ves Dimov utilize their Facebooks and Twitters to perpetuate more scientific studies proving and disproving the information advertised. Doing so, they feel, will better educate their patients about what drugs they may or may not need when seeking treatment. Be forewarned that many healthcare professionals receive kickbacks, so stay wary of those who seem to eagerly push one specific brand over another. Researching and asking around will dredge up the most trusted professionals speaking on the subject.
Frost and Sullivan,
Pew Research Forum,
U.S. News & World Report
Earlier this month Facebook announced a new featured that would allow individuals to share their status as an organ donor to their timelines.
Donate Life America,
Dr. Andrew Cameron,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,
United Network for Organ Sharing,
This is the follow-up blog post from Tarascon Publishing Author, Matthew Dasco, MD, MSc. Click here to read Part 1 of the Botswana and Human Resources for Health post.
Global Health Blog,
Fogarty International Center,
Matthew Dasco MD,
Medical Education Partnership Initiative,
Ministry of Health,
National Institute of Health (NIH),
University of Botswana School of Medicine,
US Health Resources and Services Organization
Re-posted from our friends at Methodical Madness:
Health Care and Social Media
A recent article in Information Week stated that the health care community in the United States doesn’t take full advantage of social media as a health care tool. Most healthcare organizations in the U.S. use social media solely for marketing.
In contrast, hospitals in European countries such as the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are embracing social media as a way to improve care management, engage patients, and communicate with other doctors.
Graph courtesy of SHOULD HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS USE SOCIAL MEDIA?
This is somewhat surprising considering the large number of physicans who use social media. A report on social media and physicians found that 90% of physicians use at least one social media site for personal use and 65% use at least one social media site for professional use. Moreover, 20% of clinicians use 2 or more social media sites for personal and professional use.
Graph courtesy of Doctors, Patients & Social Media
Many healthcare professionals see social media as a great educational resource for sharing medical knowledge and networking. In fact, there are doctor-only networks such as Sermo, Physician Connect, and Doximity. There are also public groups like TwitterDoctors.net, a database of physicians who tweet, has more than 1,300 doctors registered.
The challenges healthcare professionals face with social media are mostly centered on maintaining patient privacy and complying with industry regulations such as HIPAA where there are severe civil or criminal penalties for disclosing personal information. A report showed that of health care professionals who did not use social media, 70% cited privacy issues as the main deterrant. The American Medical Association has issued guidelines for medical students and physicians. But the social media landscapes moves so quickly, keeping current is difficult.
American Medical Association,
According to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), also known as the Match, family medicine attracted more graduating medical students in 2012, marking an increase in the field for the third year in a row.
The Match data provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) includes family medicine, family medicine-psychiatry, family medicine-emergency medicine, family medicine-preventive medicine and family medicine-internal medicine programs.
Affordable Care Act,
American Academy of Family Physicians,
American Medical Association,
Dr. Joseph Esherick,
Healthcare Reform Bill,
National Resident Matching Program,
With the help of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, LiveStrong and the Movember Foundation, November marks the 5th annual, Movember. Movember is an annual, Global event that takes place each November, involving the growing of moustaches, also known as “Mos,” to help raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.