Where Have All The Doctors Gone?

By October 25, 2012Advertising, Healthcare

I have noticed lately that more and more of my “Doctors Visits” are really with the “Physician Assistants”. Now I don’t mind that since these P.A.’s are often young, friendly and smile more than the “Doctors.” But, I was curious about what looked like a trend in my healthcare, and decided to check this trend out with my favorite duo – my smartphone and Google; here are the “facts”:

  • MORE PEOPLE – Our population is growing older and bigger – you know. We’re headed toward 500 million by mid-century.
  • NOT ENOUGH STUDENTS ARE BECOMING DOCTORS – Not enough young folks are willing to/are able to spend all the time and money it takes to get to be a doctor – but the result is there won’t be enough doctors for the this growing population.
  • THE GOVERNMENT – Apparently, government funding for residencies is slowly getting less and less. After Med School, these potential doctors are facing major financial challenges and a big decision.
  • THE SOLUTION – More and more Physician Assistants are taking care of the not-terribly-serious healthcare cases and the remaining doctors are left to handle the serious stuff.

So, it seems to me that the signs all point to a doctor shortage.

Can that be good? Is this an issue?

Or… should we be happy & satisfied with those really nice and talented Physician Assistants?

What do you think?

Bill Swanston

Author Bill Swanston

Almost an Atlanta native, Bill left to become Associate Creative Director at some of the best of the big agencies (BBDO/NY, Saatchi & Saatchi, Doner, Hill Holliday) before returning home to found our agency with Scott in 1999. Bill's creative credentials include work that has been recognized in almost every advertising award show including Cannes, One Show, Addy's, Communication Arts, Hatch, Obies and Tellies.

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