Friday, September 18, 2009

Hsieh PJM OpEd: "Is Your Doctor Getting Ready to Quit?" just published my latest health care OpEd entitled, "Is Your Doctor Getting Ready to Quit?"

Here is the introduction:
In a recent editorial published by Investor's Business Daily, associate editor (and regular) Terry Jones revealed stunning poll data showing that 45 percent of American physicians "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Congress passed the proposed ObamaCare health legislation.

As a practicing physician, I'm not surprised. These numbers mirror the sentiments I’ve heard expressed by my professional colleagues. I've been in practice for over 15 years and I've never seen physician morale as low as it is today.

Older physicians have told me that they're glad to be "getting out" and retiring soon. Medical students have asked me whether they should switch to engineering or pharmacology before it's too late. Physicians in the middle of their careers are just hoping to survive any "reform."

The same IBD poll also showed that an overwhelming majority (65 percent) of physicians were opposed to the proposed expansion of government in medicine. And they have every reason to be concerned, based on past experience...
(Read the full text of "Is Your Doctor Getting Ready to Quit?")

I've seen some people disputing the methodology of the IBD survey, citing other surveys stating that physicians support ObamaCare. I haven't looked at those other surveys (yet), so I can't comment on their specific claims.

But the broader point raised by the IBD survey is fundamentally correct -- doctors are concerned that the proposed "reform" will make their jobs and their lives more difficult. I don't know exactly how many of my colleagues will retire early or quit in frustration. But it's definitely a topic of conversation when physicians are talking amongst themselves away from their patients.

Given that more than 50% of Americans are now opposed to ObamaCare, it's not surprising that doctors feel similarly.

For a related story from a patient's perspective, please see Kevin McAllister's blog post, "Quitting Doctors".

Update: Larry Kudlow summarizes some of the major IBD findings at "What the Doctors Think".